Citigroup’s current president and head of global consumer division, Jane Fraser has been appointed as the business’s new Chief Executive in an historic Wall Street first.
Originally from Scotland, Fraser has worked at Citi for 16 years and in its highest ranks since 2019. She has successfully overseen business across 19 countries previously heading up the bank’s Latin America division.
The chair of Citi’s board of directors, John Dugan, said he was confident Fraser would take the bank “to the next level”.
“She has deep experience across our lines of business and regions and we are highly confident in her,” he said.
Now regarded as a star performer in finance, Fraser holds degrees from both Harvard Business School and Cambridge University. She started her career at Goldman Sachs in London, before becoming partner at consulting giant McKinsey. Part of her reasoning for moving to the US was because she perceived opportunities for women to be greater.
As an advocate for equality, Fraser has spoken about gendered challenges she’s faced as a senior banking executive, conceding freely that’s she’s been subject to sexism and stereotypes throughout her career. She also spoke out about the difficulty in managing competing life priorities, telling broadcaster CNN in 2014: “You cannot have it all at the same time. You can have it all, spread over decades. I think of my life in different chunks. When the kids were little, I needed to be around more, but it’s different now.”
As Citi works to lessen the economic fallout associated with the pandemic, eyes will be on Fraser to turn things around. In the most recent quarter, Citi’s profits plunged 73 percent and it was forced to set aside more than $7bn to cover potential losses.
In a Citi interview in 2016, Fraser said that good leadership constituted a combination of context, courage and curiosity.
“You have to provide a vision for people, a sense of purpose, and setting the stage so they know what they should be doing and some of the decisions they should be making, how they should be innovating,” she said, further adding that as a leader “tough calls” often needed to be made.
In a 2018 interview with CNN Business Fraser said she looked forward “to seeing a woman being the first CEO of a Wall Street firm whoever that may be.”