Briton Jane Fraser becomes first woman to run a Wall Street bank at Citi

Linda J. Dodson

Jane Fraser has been appointed as the new chief executive of Citigroup, making her the first woman and the first Briton to lead a Wall Street bank. 

Ms Fraser, who became Citi’s president last year, will join the board immediately, replacing Mike Corbat, who has led the New York-based bank for more than eight years. 

The appointment represents a significant milestone for Wall Street, which has been criticised for years for having an overly macho culture and failing to promote enough women to senior positions.

Originally from Scotland, Ms Fraser has worked at Citi for 16 years and has run several divisions, including its private bank, Latin American arm and, most recently, its sprawling consumer bank. 

Before joining the lender, the 53-year-old worked as a partner at McKinsey and as a mergers and acquisitions analyst at Goldman Sachs. 

She has previously spoken about sexist treatment she suffered while working in Latin America, with its male-dominated corporate culture. 

In a 2018 interview with CNN, she said: “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. This was seen as a bit of an insult in Mexico.”

Her husband also previously worked as a banker, but left his job in Europe in 2008 to spend more time caring for their young children. 

In a 2014 interview with CNN, she said: “His bank was sold, and he moved into working for boards and investing, and also spending more time with the kids. If it had been me, I’d have done it willingly too, because I’m a mum, and that’s a joy.”

Ms Fraser graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Cambridge in 1988 and completed an MBA at Harvard in the mid-1990s. 

Other contenders for the top job at Citi included its investment bank boss Paco Ybarra and finance chief Mark Mason.

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