Cathy Bessant is wondering what might have been. Marianne Lake is staring daggers at the corner office that will still one day be hers, albeit in a notably less historic way. For today (well, in February), Wall Street has a new and undisputed queen: the first (well, second) female CEO of a Big Four bank.
Citigroup said on Thursday that its chief executive, Michael Corbat, plans to retire in February, paving the way for his top lieutenant, Jane Fraser, to become the first woman to lead a big Wall Street bank….
“We believe Jane is the right person to build on Mike’s record and take Citi to the next level,” John C. Dugan, Citi’s chairman, said in a statement. “She has deep experience across our lines of business and regions, and we are highly confident in her.”
Fraser’s victory in the girl’s game of thrones may leave Lake’s prophecy unfulfilled, but it’s not much of a surprise: She was named Corbat’s heir apparent in October, and with Corbat’s more ambivalent approach to being a bank CEO, Wells Fargo’s inability to do anything right and Jamie Dimon’s failure to launch in the presidential race, it may have been all but inevitable.
Still, all’s not quite lost for Lake: She’s still the frontrunner to be the first female CEO of a non-dysfunctional major bank, and if Joe Biden wins the election and she can somehow bump off Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, maybe she can stab Fraser to death just before she ascends the financial throne by getting Dimon named Treasury Secretary, after all, and just in time at that.
Citigroup’s Fraser to Be First Woman to Lead a Big Wall Street Bank [NYT]
Citi Names Fraser as First Female CEO of Major Global Bank [Bloomberg]
Citi CEO Michael Corbat to retire next year, Jane Fraser to become first woman CEO of a US megabank [CNBC]