Meet the First Woman to Lead a Major Bank, New Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser
Jane Fraser is making strides for women on Wall Street.
On Thursday, Citigroup announced that Fraser, 53, will officially become their new CEO in February.
The move comes as Citigroup's current CEO, Michael Corbat, prepares to retire after 37 years at the third-largest bank in the country — eight of which were spent at the helm.
With her new title, Fraser becomes the first woman to lead a major Wall Street bank, which has $1.96 trillion in assets, and joins an elite group of 31 female CEOs leading the 500 companies on the S&P 500 stock index, The New York Times reported.
Citigroup said Fraser, who is a mother of two, would also be elected to its board of directors, with service beginning immediately.
"I am honored by the Board’s decision," Fraser said in a statement. "I will do everything I can to make all of our stakeholders proud of our firm as we continue to build a better bank and improve our returns… I am excited to join with my colleagues in writing the next chapter."
Hailing from Scotland, Fraser graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1988, before going on to work at Goldman Sachs in the Mergers & Acquisitions department in London and Asesores Bursátiles in Madrid, according to her LinkedIn.
Eventually, she relocated to the U.S., where she attended Harvard Business School and later worked as a partner at McKinsey & Company, her LinkedIn states.
In 2004, she joined Citigroup to work in the Corporate and Investment Banking division. Over the years, she worked her way up the ladder, most recently serving as the President of Citi and the Chief Executive Officer of Global Consumer Banking, according to the bank.
Despite her many accomplishments and constant career progression, Fraser said in a 2018 interview with CNN that she wasn't ready to take on the CEO role at Citigroup, though she anticipated a woman holding the spot one day.
"I look forward to seeing a woman being the first CEO of a Wall Street firm whoever that may be," she said. "I've never had the ambition to be the CEO of Citi or any other organization. Things can change over time. But at the moment, I've still got a lot to learn."
In that same interview, Fraser, who was serving as the CEO of Citigroup Latin America at the time, discussed what it was like holding a leadership position in a male-dominated field and how her husband encouraged her to embrace her femininity.
"When I first was put in charge of Latin America, there was some pretty negative headlines in the press of Mexico about having a female foreigner with responsibility. And this was seen as a bit of an insult in Mexico," she shared with CNN.
"My husband took me out, he said, 'We're going to buy an elegant red dress, slightly higher heels than you're used to, and a new haircut, and you're going to stride on the stage,'" she went on. "He knew that if I could stride out there and be quite comfortable in who I am, and confident around that and transmitting something that was, 'I am who I am,' that that would be a benefit."
Fraser told Poppy Harlow on her podcast Boss Files that she also found success by being upfront with customers and employees, and acknowledging her weaknesses.
"I always imagine myself at the other side of the audience, and [ask], 'How would I like to hear things?'" Fraser told Harlow, according to CNN. "I like straight-talking. I think transparency is important, and authenticity is important. I never like corporate speak. So, I think it's important just to say how things are."
"You have to hire people that are better than you and more knowledgeable than you," she added. "You have to get the team to work together."
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