Euromoney's top 50 women in finance
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Euromoney's top 50 women in finance

The odds are against women scaling the heights in finance. Glass ceilings still exist and tradition favours men when it comes to senior promotions. Despite this a small group of very talented and determined women have triumphed. Euromoney has identified 10 outstanding women and another 40 of notable achievement.

When Euromoney reporters set out to find the top 50 women in finance, they found the going tough. Identifying senior women in investment banking was especially difficult and it remains very much a man's world. The absence of some of the largest international investment banks from the top 50 is noticeable.

Borrowers, fund managers, multilateral institutions and central banks have a better track record, with notable successes such as Jessica Einhorn, one of five managing directors running the World Bank; Carol Galley, vice-chairman of Mercury Asset Management and Denmark's central bank governor, Bodil Nyboe Andersen.

The scarcity of women in high-flying senior management positions is what makes the achievements of the 50 women listed below more remarkable. As one participant said: "It's not sufficient to be as good as the men and work as hard; you always have to be better."

The women included in the Euromoney top 50 have all done exceptionally well in varied fields. Some have started their own businesses, some are the most respected figure in their area of expertise, while others have been in the vanguard of introducing new instruments, ideas and ways of doing business.

It's to be hoped that, by the next time Euromoney surveys top women in finance, more companies and institutions will have realized that they are missing out on a wealth of talent.

Jessica Einhorn, World Bank

Jessica Einhorn, who became one of five managing directors running the World Bank a year ago, has a guiding philosophy: "You should always have your dreams for the future. Don't dream about the past."

But Einhorn, who became the first woman vice-president at the World Bank when she was appointed treasurer in 1992, has a host of past accomplishments well worth dreaming about. A Fulbright Scholar, she also studied at the London School of Economics and received a PhD in politics from Princeton University. Before joining the World Bank in 1981, she worked in the US Treasury and the State Department. In banking circles, she is remembered as a major player in the creation of the first swap, engineered by Salomon Brothers for the World Bank, and as a conservative risk manager who kept the bank's finances impeccable.

According to Gary Perlin, the current treasurer of the bank: "Jessica's strengths derive from the clarity of her business vision. She has very strong principles." If some people mistake Einhorn's principles for stubbornness, her persuasive personality wins them over. Peter Peterson, who chairs both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Institute for International Economics, two think tanks on whose boards she sits, calls Einhorn "extremely effective ... She brings a kind of physical, psychological and intellectual energy to issues but always with a charm and a smile, rather than that kind of earnest intensity that puts people off."

Turning 50 this year, Einhorn is still looking to the challenges ahead and is thinking about "one more serious professional endeavour" before she retires. She remains equally passionate about finance ­ "I love the energy and the analytics of the markets" ­ and the world of intellect and public policy. Bringing the two sides together is a goal. "If you've accomplished enough to have respect, you can build a life of private and public boards that will give quite a lot of leverage to your best ideas about management and public policy," she says.

The status of women is another social issue that Einhorn cares about deeply. While she has been a golden girl at the World Bank she is keenly aware that the institution has been a difficult culture for women. She is too modest to consider herself a role model for the women who have risen to the top under World Bank president Jim Wolfensohn's new leadership, but she has always felt "a sense of responsibility to help the women coming up in the bank to take positions that help the issue of diversity."

Ana Patricia Botín, Banco Santander

Ana Patricia Botín may well become the first woman chairman of a major international bank. But this 36-year-old daughter of Banco Santander chairman Emilio Botín is not his heir apparent merely through family connections. "She is a highly regarded banker in her own right," says analyst Sheila Garrard at Lehman Brothers. "It would not be fair to say she owes her position entirely to who she is." In any event, she is likely to have a long apprenticeship before moving into the chairman's office ­ like her grandfather, her father shows little inclination to take early retirement.

Since 1981 Botín has devoted her working life to the banking business. Starting at the age of 20, she worked her way from the credit management and financial analysis department of JP Morgan in Madrid to its capital markets and treasury operations in New York.

In 1988 she moved into the family bank and set up the investment banking and emerging markets division, now known as Santander Investment. The following year she became a full board member as well as a member of Banco Santander's executive committee. She is now chief executive officer of the group's investment banking operations.

Having experienced at first hand the inner workings of a major Wall Street investment bank, Botín has developed a sharply focused strategy for Santander Investment, taking into account the bank's natural advantages as well as its global limitations.

"The investment banking arm is structured around three strategic pillars," she explains. "We want to build up our network in Latin America, where our goal is to be one of the region's top three investment banks. We also aim to use Banco Santander's capital resources to back up our swift decision-making capabilities. Lastly, we want to generate distribution capacity in syndicated loans, equities and bonds, mainly in European and Asian markets."

The mother of three children, Botín devotes much of her free time to golf, where family connections have also proved a useful asset: her tutor was brother-in-law and professional golfer Severiano Ballesteros. She also finds time to play the piano and paint.

Linda Knight, Fannie Mae

Linda Knight is senior vice-president and treasurer of Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortage Association). Her 15 years with the US agency are marked by innovative and expanding funding activities and the development of Fannie Mae's reputation as a responsible issuer of debt.

Knight describes herself as "someone who thinks and dreams Fannie Mae". Ceaseless in her search for improved funding sources, Knight can formulate strategies in the strangest of places. Fannie Mae's global debt facility was clinched in the middle of an airport. "In March 1994, I was on a European tour with our chairman, and hadn't stopped talking to him about the benefits of establishing a global debt facility. I was sure the time was right," she says. "In the middle of Heathrow airport he turns around and tells me that I've convinced him. 'How long till we can do a deal?' he asked. I suggested September. 'Lets do it by June,' he said." On June 22, Knight's plans came to fruition: Fannie Mae issued its first global bond, worth $1.5 billion.

Knight was awarded a BA in economics from Smith College and went on to work for Bankers Trust in New York in 1972. For six years she managed the bank's fixed-income corporate pension funds accounts and pooled mortgage fund portfolios. In 1978 she left to work for the Alliance Capital Management Corporation, joining Fannie Mae four years later as a senior market analyst.

"When I joined Fannie Mae my work just switched over from the buy to the sell side," says Knight. "My buying background is tremendously helpful. I have strong contacts within the New York dealing community and with investors." In 1983, Knight became assistant to the then treasurer, Gary Perlin. She worked with him for 10 years before being elected treasurer and senior vice-president of Fannie Mae in 1993. Knight is determined that the treasury will continue its run of success by further expanding its investor base and building on Fannie Mae's international funding presence.

Knight attributes her ability to combat stress at work to her family: "I'm a vociferous cheerer at my children's sports games ­ it's a great way to clear your head," she says.

Elizabeth Sam, OCBC Bank

Elizabeth Sam is Singapore's best-known female banker. The deputy president of OCBC Bank made local headlines last October when she became the first woman to be appointed to the main board of a big four bank in Singapore.

Before the promotion, Sam was the bank's head of investment management and treasury operations. The latest elevation transferred wholesale banking to her charge and made her the most powerful person in OCBC outside of the controlling Lee family.

The casual observer will find her a misfit in such an "old, crusty bank," as one analyst described OCBC. Sam is sophisticated, outspoken and daring, everything that the corporate culture at OCBC does not actively encourage.

Sam gained international prominence during the Barings crisis in 1994. Then chairman of the Singapore International Monetary Exchange, she spoke in defence of the futures exchange which she had had a big hand in setting up in 1984. At several international forums she blamed the collapse mainly on Barings' internal management and asserted that Simex was not sleeping on the job as some had claimed. "Nothing can protect a firm from itself," she said.

"Following every financial mishap, there are calls for greater regulation. It's a mistake to think greater regulation is a panacea for all ills."

Her relatively liberal view on regulation was perhaps one factor that endeared her to many foreign banks two decades earlier when she was working for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she was nicknamed "Ms MAS" by foreign bankers who found it refreshing to deal with an articulate and self-assured central banker at a time when most of Asia had yet to lay down the welcome mat for foreign institutions.

As a senior manager at the MAS, which she joined when it was formed in 1970, Sam and former MAS managing director Michael Wong Pakshong were largely responsible for shaping and implementing the policy that established Singapore's role as a leading financial centre in southeast Asia.

She started out at the finance ministry in 1963 before being transferred to the MAS. She joined Mercantile House Holdings in 1981 and was a director in charge of the Asia Pacific region until 1988 when she took up the post of executive vice-president at OCBC.

Colleagues say she owes her success to determination and professionalism. "She's a good administrator and a manager of people. Many women in the 1970s were still quite submissive, she was bold and assertive, says one banker.

Carol Galley, Mercury Asset Management

Carol Galley, 48, vice-chairman of Mercury Asset Management (MAM) has been hailed as one of the most powerful women in the UK. As one of a small team working closely with Hugh Stevenson, MAM's chairman, and Steven Zimmerman, the other vice-chairman, Galley plays a pivotal role in deciding the investment strategies and beliefs that have made MAM one of the world's largest pension fund managers.

Galley started her City career at the bottom. After graduating from Leicester University in 1971, she joined MAM as its librarian. Her rise to the top was helped by Zimmerman who spotted her as a rising star. As an assistant fund manager she would come up with the ideas that he would ensure were put into operation.

But they have not always been in agreement. She wanted to back Guinness and Ernest Saunders in their bid for Distillers in 1986, whereas he was all for supporting Argyll's rival bid. She stood her ground and played a decisive role in the Guinness victory by selling Mercury's stake in Distillers to Guinness via stockbroker Cazenove at the last minute. Since 1987, when she took over as the head of the UK pension fund business at Mercury, the fund has performed well above the industry average.

Her success is put down to a combination of determination, analytical skill, cleverness, vision and clarity of thinking. "She is phenomenally intelligent, extremely hard-working and dedicated to her clients. Nothing else clutters up her mind," says a colleague. She abhors publicity, however, preferring to be seen as part of a team rather than as a personality.

Although she enjoys the adoration of her clients and staff, Galley has a reputation for steeliness. Her former staff liken her to Margaret Thatcher because of her preference for compliant men over women. One colleague says that she can be autocratic, with an occasional tendency towards humour failure, and that she sometimes berates employees in public.

Christine Holm, Swedish National Debt Office

Christine Holm is director of the debt management department at the Swedish National Debt Office (SNDO), a position she took up in June 1996.

Holm places the emphasis for her achievements on the shoulders of her colleagues. "It has been an ongoing source of pride to me to be part of this team." So it should: she is part of a small but very successful group of people who have been managing a large international borrowing programme both in international and domestic markets. Holm is responsible for a portfolio of Skr1,400 billion ($181 billion), the bulk of which has been rapidly built up since 1992, when Sweden became a very large borrower on international capital markets.

"I have been fortunate enough to work in an institution that has experienced very dramatic changes," she says. Holm feels that SNDO's emphasis on teamwork is what has helped to lead to international recognition for its success in debt management and borrowing. In 1995 SNDO was Euromoney's professional Borrower of the Year.

"The achievements of the SNDO speak for themselves," says Ian Annand, director of capital markets at Nomura. "In both good and bad times, it has consistently been one of the most professional borrowers, particularly in respect to funding activities and liability management. Holm herself is highly professional and has a great deal of decisiveness and sang-froid when working, but still manages to be extremely charming."

So, what are Holm's plans for the future? "I cannot accomplish anything alone, but I hope that, as an institution, we will hold a position in the forefront with regard to borrowing and debt management techniques, as we've done in the past."

"The government debt markets in Europe face some radical changes in the years ahead, particularly against the background of Emu, and therefore it's very interesting to participate in this process."

Remarkable for having worked at only two institutions (she was working for the First National Bank of Chicago until her move in 1981), Holm's first position at SNDO was in foreign-currency borrowing. She then moved on to become director of the international market department in 1990. Holm graduated from the University of Stockholm with a degree in economics.

Bodil Nyboe Andersen, Danish Central Bank

Bodil Nyboe Andersen never planned her career but she ended up with the perfect skill-set for her current post as Denmark's central bank governor. As a former civil servant, academic and commercial banker she has a wealth of knowledge to call on in running one of the country's key institutions.

In one sense Nyboe Andersen's move from the private sector to join Danmarks Nationalbank was a move full circle. Her first job after gaining an MSc in economics from the University of Copenhagen in 1966 was as assistant principal in the ministry for economic affairs. But two years later when her father became the minister she decided that working there was impracticable. She took up a professorship at her alma mater where she spent the next 12 years inculcating Danish students with the finer points of monetary policy and economics.

"She was a very efficient and well-respected lecturer," says Lars Eskesen, a senior executive with Unibank who worked closely with Nyboe Andersen during her subsequent banking career. "She is a very straightforward person, extremely intelligent and a good communicator."

In 1981 the chairman of the outside board of directors of Andelsbanken recruited her as managing director. She held this position for nine years until the farmers' cooperative bank was involved in a three-way merger that produced Unibank, where she became group managing director.

Since becoming governor of Danmarks Nationalbank in 1995, Nyboe Andersen has been credited with building up the research and publishing activities of the central bank, with keeping Danish monetary policy on a sound footing and building good relations with other central bank governors.

She has never let the high-powered nature of her job affect her lifestyle, however. Rejecting the banker's penchant for chauffeur-driven cars she frequently cycles to work and even today drives herself to the central bank. But does the public role of being a central banker take its toll on someone who, friends say, is a private person? "Some of the so-called formal activities are a lot more informal than you might think," she says. "I do travel a lot, but I prefer to take work home with me than to stay too late in the evenings."

Although Nyboe Andersen admits to being influenced by her father in her career interests, her own sons have gone in a completely different direction ­ one is a stage director, the other a ballet dancer. Her main interest is the theatre and she usually goes once a week.

Abigail Hofman, BZW

Abigail Hofman is managing director and global head of debt origination at BZW. Recruited to the new BZW fixed-income team in 1996, Hofman is recognized as one of the best coverage officers in the business.

Although Hofman believes that people, especially women, "need to be particularly single-minded to succeed in finance", her own career path has been anything but straightforward.

After gaining an MA in modern history from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, she went on to work as a researcher for several Liberal peers at the House of Lords.

In 1984 she qualified as a barrister and went to work for Merrill Lynch in the investment banking division. In 1986 she moved to a similar position at NatWest taking responsibility for the firm's marketing strategy in Canada.

In 1990, Hofman moved to the film industry ­ a stint which, she says, made her "far less pompous". As a member of the film finance team at Guinness Mahon & Co, she worked on the films Green Card and Howard's End.

Her return to investment banking came about by chance: "I had close friends at Deutsche Bank who called and said they wanted me to work there." She stayed with Deutsche and subsequently Deutsche Morgan Grenfell for six years as its director of debt funding.

"I love winning business and beating the competition," she says. Her work so far this year has produced some exceptional deals including the first-ever global sterling issue by Fannie Mae. "You can't win deals like these on your own," says Hofman, who sings the praises of her colleagues at BZW. "The team I work with pulls out all the stops for a deal."

Beyond finance there is little room in Hofman's life for other activities. "This is a career that keeps you in the office from 7am till 10pm, every day," she says.

The long hours make her more appreciative of time with her friends and for reading ­ her favourite pastime ­ but even with literature, Hofman maintains a competitive spirit: "When I leave finance I'd like to write novels," she says, "of course I'm terribly peeved that John Mclaren at DMG beat me to it."

Susana de la Puente, JP Morgan

Susana de la Puente is a Peruvian-born investment banker who has made a 13-year career as an investment banker with JP Morgan in New York, and today is one of the most prominent names in Latin American corporate finance.

De la Puente has a place on Morgan's planning and strategy committee for Latin America, but her main area of focus is looking after clients in Mexico and Peru, whether providing M&A advisory services, or originating debt and equity issues out of the two countries. Over the past five years she has been instrumental in winning business such as the mandate to lead the first-ever Peruvian offering on the New York Stock Exchange, for Banco Wiese, or taking Mexican names such as cement company Cemex to the Euromarkets.

De la Puente began her career in the US after studying for an MBA at the Arthur D Little School of Management in Boston, when instead of returning to Peru she took up a job offer from Morgan. By the mid-1980s she was managing relationships for some of Morgan's multinational clients, and when Latin America began to open up again after debt crisis she became part of a group of bankers covering Mexico.

In 1992 she was named senior banker in the Latin American corporate finance group, and country manager for Peru, becoming responsible for JP Morgan's most important clients in Mexico, and the bank's activities in Peru.

In 1994 Morgan advised Telefonica de Espana in its successful bid for the Peruvian telephone company, in the largest privatization executed in the country. It has also advised Peruvian clients on the buy side, including acquisitions by Backus & Johnston and Consorcio Peru Pacifico.

De la Puente not only originates business but also has a hands-on approach to the execution of transactions, and a Peru deal will always have her or one of her Peru bankers on the execution team, regardless of product category.

"Sometimes it is very critical to have a banker who knows the country, and is an advocate for a client, in front of a product person," she says, with a view to building long-term relationships. "My strategy is very much to be a banker who gets involved in execution."

Irene Dorner, HSBC

"I wouldn't be sitting here if I didn't think I could change the world," says Irene Dorner, one of the most successful women in the City of London.

After moving from Samuel Montagu, where she made executive director, she joined the ranks of Midland Bank as a planning director in 1993. Following the takeover of Midland by Hongkong Bank, she was appointed to the post of chief operating officer for HSBC Midland in 1995, where she is responsible for the daily running of the largest single dealing room in Europe, with a daily foreign exchange turnover of $30 billion.

Dorner is also responsible for the administration of the treasury and capital markets division of Midland, as well as being deputy to the treasurer. She attributes her ability to juggle so many financial balls at once to her training as an in-house lawyer.

"The best way of getting on in this business is to start from a specialist position and move out to other things. In-house lawyers have a mixed bag of indirectly linked, transferable skills which they can then apply to a plethora of other roles," she says.

After attending Oxford University, Dorner qualified as a barrister in 1977. Wanting to pursue a career in commercial law, she gravitated towards investment banks believing them to be places where women could excel.

"These institutions operated as a meritocracy and promotion was based on ability rather than length of service. They were places where it was possible to enjoy success if you were good enough to merit it," she says.

What are her remaining ambitions? "I want to concentrate on sorting out my side of the business at HSBC and also to be around to help guide the bank through the upheaval of Emu."

Birgitta Kantola, International Finance Corporation

Before her appointment as vice-president of finance and planning at the IFC in December 1995, Kantola enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks at the Nordic Investment Bank, culminating in her position as executive vice-president of finance for four years. Previously, Kantola undertook a two-year assignment with the IMF. Kantola started her banking career in the dealing rooms of the large commercial banks in Finland after graduating from the University of Helsinki with a master's degree in law. Kantola says her workplace motto is that "common sense normally solves a lot of problems".

Leslie Lynn Rahl, Capital Market Risk Advisors

"The impossible we do right away. The more difficult takes a little longer." A founder of the swaps business and an innovator in interest rate caps, collars and floors, Leslie Lynn Rahl had certainly taken this adage to heart by the time she co-founded CMRA in 1994.

Before setting up her company, she worked at Citibank, where she was at the forefront of the swaps and derivatives team for nine years and responsible for market-making, hedging and proprietary trading for books in excess of $100 billion. She left to run Leslie Rahl Associates, a consulting firm specializing in swaps, options and derivatives. Rahl has also been active on a number of boards and presently sits on the board of directors of the International Association of Financial Engineers (IAFE). She is a graduate of the MBA programme at the Sloan School of Management at MIT and is looking forward to the day when she finally gets some sleep.

Tanya Styblo Beder, Capital Market Risk Advisors

Before co-founding CMRA in 1994, Beder left her position as a vice-president of the First Boston Corporation to found a consulting firm in 1987, specializing in financial institutions, capital markets and derivatives. "The encouragement from those who became my clients to leave Wall Street and start my own business" is what Beder considers to be the major turning point in her career. While at First Boston, Beder was a founding member of the swap group in the bank's capital markets division before becoming a trader and product specialist for derivative products and finally the fixed-income research specialist in charge of derivatives transactions for financial institutions. She is active on the board of the International Association of Financial Engineers. Beder graduated with an MBA in finance from Harvard Business School.

Wendy de Monchaux, Bear Stearns

Wendy de Monchaux became a senior managing director of Bear Stearns in 1995, following the notable success of the Bear Stearns derivatives department which she founded in 1993. From humble beginnings, the global derivatives department now employs over 150 people worldwide, and caters to all tastes in structured transactions and off-balance-sheet derivative products.

Not one to sit on her laurels, de Monchaux also heads the fixed-income finance department at the investment bank.

Before joining Bear Stearns in 1993, de Monchaux worked as a derivatives specialist at Drexel Burnham Lambert and considers surviving the Drexel Burnham Lambert bankruptcy as the one event that made the most difference to her career. She left in 1990 to head the global derivatives product group at Banque Indosuez. De Monchaux's ambition is to see Bear Stearns ranked amongst the top three derivatives dealers worldwide.

Ayesha Shah, EBRD

"Markets impart wisdom to their participants without mercy, accept the gift with grace." That's the poetic motto of Ayesha Shah, head of funding at EBRD, where she is responsible for raising debt via bonds, EMTNs and loans in both established and emerging capital markets. Shah is constantly looking for new and exciting ways to "access new markets and design new products".

Before joining the EBRD in 1993, she worked for Citibank and then moved to Nomura in 1986 to co-head the swaps team. She has been inspired by many people in her career, but reserves her greatest admiration for George Soros, "for putting some of his outstanding trading successes to philanthropic use in his homeland".

Fields Wicker-Miurin, London Stock Exchange

Fields Wicker-Miurin joined the London Stock Exchange in 1994. As director of strategy and finance, her aim is to focus and restructure the exchange to deliver the highest-quality services at the most competitive prices.

She arrived well equipped for the job. After a period in investment banking for Philadelphia National Bank, where she reached the level of regional manager/vice-president for Italy, Greece and Turkey, she moved into strategic consultancy. In 1989 she started at APM Consulting as a senior associate in financial services and publishing industries. By 1990 she was a partner and vice-president responsible for financial services practice in Europe with Strategic Planning Associates/Mercer Management Consulting.

Wicker-Miurin's education is thoroughly international. She has a degree in foreign affairs and French from the University of Virginia, a Certificat d'Etudes Politiques from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, a certificate of contemporary Polish studies from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and a master's degree in international economics and European studies from the John Hopkins University in Italy and Washington, DC.

Amy Yip, Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Amy Yip is executive director of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. As head of the reserve management department she manages the HKMA's exchange fund (which amounted to $69 billion in 1996). She also oversees the issuance of physical notes after mintage. "I suppose you could call me the bean counter," she says.

Until last year, Yip's career was in the private sector. Starting in 1980 with JP Morgan, she left in 1988 to work with Rothschild Asset Management as executive director, then joined Citibank in 1991 as a business manager.

"All my predecessors at the HKMA have been on secondment from the Bank of England," she says. "But with the handover to China approaching, there was a search on to find a suitable candidate from the local community. My name came up in 1996."

Elena Landau, Bear Stearns

During a three-year stint at the Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES), where she was in charge of the privatization programme, Elena Landau became one of the best-known faces in the Brazilian financial sector. Six months ago she made the move into the private sector, being signed up by Bear Stearns as a managing director in their Sao Paulo office.

In moving into investment banking Landau brings with her an impeccable set of contacts within Brazilian industry, and her execution skills and ability to originate new business will make her a valuable addition to the Brazil office.

Landau began her career in academia, and she spent the 1980s teaching at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, where she had done her undergraduate and masters degree studies. Outside consultancy work from her position as a professor of economics led her into politics and, after acting as the chief economic assistant to the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, in 1993 she was tapped to run the privatization programme at the BNDES.

"After three years at the BNDES preparing companies for privatization, I felt that I needed something different," she says. "Changing to the private sector is a new challenge, and I think an investment bank is the right place to be," she says.

Ann Lane, Citibank

Ann Lane, 41, was appointed earlier this year as Citibank's aviation industry head within its newly organized global relationship banking business. In her new role, Lane oversees financial strategy and coordinates banking efforts around the world for corporate customers in the aviation industry. She previously headed Citibank's restructuring group, where she led high-profile restructuring projects for clients that included Donald Trump, The News Corporation, Beazer, and GPA, the world's largest independent aircraft-leasing company.

"Throughout her career at Citibank, Ann has demonstrated a consistent ability to address our customers' financial need with an eye to the bigger picture," says Robert McCormack, executive vice-president responsible for global relationship banking.

Having first joined Citibank in 1982, Lane left in 1987 to work for Salomon Brothers as a high-yield financing specialist in the merchant banking department. She returned to Citibank in 1988.

Bridgit Macaskill, Oppenheimer Funds

Bridgit Macaskill is president and chief executive officer of Oppenheimer Funds, playing a leadership role in the management of all aspects of the business. She joined the company in 1983 as vice-president of marketing and worked her way up to president in 1991.

Macaskill is frequently quoted on mutual fund industry issues and spearheads Oppenheimer Fund's women and investing programme, educating American women about the need to take charge of their personal finances. Before joining Oppenheimer Funds, she served as marketing director of St Ivel, a major food company with revenues in excess of $2 billion. Macaskill pioneered the delivery of fresh orange juice to the doorsteps of British households.

Pauline Neville-Jones, NatWest Markets

Dame Pauline Neville-Jones is managing director of global business strategy and chairman of France SA at NatWest Markets. Before moving into the financial world, she had an illustrious career in the UK diplomatic service: as head of the defence and overseas secretariat of the cabinet office, as deputy secretary to the cabinet from 1991 to 1994 and as chairman of the joint intelligence committee from 1993 to 1994.

Working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office she gained extensive international experience in Zimbabwe, Singapore, Washington, Paris and Bonn. Between 1995 and 1996, she was political director in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, leading the UK delegation to the negotiations at Dayton which resulted in the Bosnian Peace Agreement of November 1995.

Sheila Masters, Bank of England

After her appointment as a director of the Bank of England in 1994, Dame Sheila Master's DBE award in 1996 was no surprise. "If I try harder it is not because I feel I have to as a woman," she says. "Rather that I am something of a perfectionist."

She started as an articled clerk in an accountancy firm in 1970 and by 1979 she was acting as accounting and financial adviser to the UK treasury. She joined KPMG in 1983 and became a general partner leading the firm's national, European and international public sector practices and its utility regulation practice. In 1993 she was appointed to the chancellor of the exchequer's private finance panel. "I demand the best from the teams that work for me," says Masters. "And I have to set them the right example."

Suzan Sabanci Dincer, Akbank

There are eight deputy general managers in Akbank ­ Turkey's largest private bank in terms of equity ($3.8 billion) and profits ($350 million) ­ but only one of them is the boss's daughter.

Suzan Sabanci Dincer, who has been with Turkey's Akbank for six years, is deputy general manager in the treasury department. She is one of 15 third-generation young men and women in the Sabanci family, but among only a handful being groomed for the top jobs. The Sabanci group is one of the largest private conglomerates in the world (estimated 1996 turnover was $6 billion), and Akbank is the jewel in its crown. It is run by Sabanci Dincer's father, Erol Sabanci and when he steps down it is almost certain that his daughter, 32, will replace him.

Friends say that Sabanci Dincer is an extrovert with a busy social life. Colleagues describe her as a fast worker with little patience. She studied at Heathfield, the exclusive English girls' public school, and then went on to Richmond College and Boston University where she gained an MBA in finance.

"I have always found banking very attractive," says Dincer. "It is a dynamic environment where you can be creative and do many new things. I lived with my family until I got married and learnt a lot of things from my father. My father was my in-house tutor."

Maggie Lee, Schroder Investment Management

In her own low-profile and down-to-earth way, Singapore-born Maggie Lee has scaled the heights of the fund management industry. The former managing director and chief investment officer of Schroder Investment Management (Singapore) moved to London last November after being promoted to director on the main board of Schroder Investment Management.

The press-shy Lee, who is in her 40s, squirms at the idea of talking about her achievements. In London, she manages funds for UK and European institutional clients investing in Asian markets. She is credited for her role in establishing Schroder as the foremost foreign fund manager in Singapore. She was with the Singapore office for 11 years and previously worked with the Overseas Union Bank.

Edward Ong, boss of headhunter EO Consulting, says there is high esteem for Lee among her peers and competitors. "A lot of fund managers are order takers but Maggie has the ability to assess a situation very quickly, and knows when to transfer and move funds in and out."

Denise Kelly, Salomon Brothers

Denise Kelly is a managing director of Salomon Brothers and co-head of the government bond department. Kelly joined Salomon Brothers in 1982 as a salesperson in the foreign central and commercial bank group. In 1986 she became a manager of the commercial bank unit. Since 1990 she has served as the firm's worldwide government products manager. Born in Pennsylvania, Kelly graduated with a BS from Drexel University in 1980 and received an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, in 1982

Denise McGlone, Sallie Mae

Denise McGlone, 40, is executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Sallie Mae, the primary source of education credit in the US. She joined Sallie Mae in 1994 after managing global derivatives units on Wall Street for 10 years. As the executive vice-president and global head of derivatives at DKB Financial Products in New York, McGlone set up and managed the derivatives unit of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank.

While in New York, she served as director of the International Swap Dealers Association and chairman of the Tax and Accounting Committee for several years. McGlone has also served in senior management positions at Security Pacific National Bank and First National Bank of Chicago.

Teresa Foo, Standard Chartered

Banks that were originally established in colonial empires are seldom big on equal opportunity employment and all too often do little to discourage the perception that they are the last bastions of male dominance. So when Standard Chartered Bank, which has operated in Singapore for over 130 years, appointed Theresa Foo to be its first Singaporean chief executive, the announcement caused stiff upper lips to quiver along the bank's wood-panelled corridors.

But three years later Foo, now 53, has established her reputation as someone who "is easy to work with and suffers no fool", says Alan Harden, head of the bank's investment services.

Foo won her spurs in corporate banking where she had 18 years' experience. A graduate of the Australian National University, she first joined Bank of America (BOA). She worked her way up through the ranks and became the first woman in BOA's Singapore office to be made a vice-president. Then she was lured away to head the corporate and investment banking division of OCBC Bank before moving to Standard Chartered to run its corporate banking business in 1988.

Farida Khamabata, IFC

Farida Khamabata is director of the central capital markets department at the International Finance Corporation, and on April 2 she will take up the position of treasurer.

In her present post she has responsibility for the organization's structured finance and investment banking operations, as well as for its emerging markets database and the provision of advice on capital market development.

Khamabata is internationally recognized as a leader in her field and recently joined her IFC colleague, Minati Misra, in becoming one of the first women to chair debates at the annual Webster's MTN conference in London.

Khamabata joined the IFC in 1986 from the World Bank, where she was a senior pension fund officer. She is a certified financial analyst and has degrees in economics and business management from the University of Cambridge and the London Business School.

Frances Heaten, Lazard Brothers

Frances Heaten is a director of Lazard Brothers and a non-executive director of the Bank of England, Commercial Union and Harrisons & Crossfield. She is also deputy chairman of WS Atkins, consulting engineers.

Between 1992 and 1994 she was seconded to the takeover panel as director general ­ the first woman to hold this position. Heaten brought to the post 11 years experience in corporate finance, preceded by more than a decade in government as an assistant secretary at the UK treasury.

Colleagues describe her as "a marvellous lady, extremely intelligent and very hard-working". Another adds: "She has a great sense of humour, but is not to be trifled with." A qualified barrister, Heaten graduated in law from Trinity College, Dublin.

Gabriele Müller, Depfa Bank

Gabriele Müller joined the Depfa bank at the beginning of 1996 as head of capital markets. In this position, she is responsible for a number of products, including jumbos, Eurobonds, MTNs, structured products and also foreign-denominated Schuldscheine.

"I love my job for the diversity it brings: it has a great mix of analytics (especially on the structured side but also in assessing market situations) as well as many other aspects related to legal and technical issues. Even after being in related businesses for years, my job always brings new questions which have to be tackled," says Müller.

Müller's past experience stands her in good stead for the task at hand. After gaining a degree in political economics from the University of Hamburg, she joined Westdeutsche Landesbank as a trainee in 1988. From 1990, she worked in investment banking, involved initially with the issuance of Eurobonds, structured deals and warrants. She moved on to German clients coverage for investment banking products in 1992.

In 1994, she moved to Bayerische Hypo Bank in Munich, where she was responsible for German client origination at new issues (fixed income). Müller was deeply involved in the development of the jumbo-Pfandbrief when the market was established in 1995.

Gay Huey Evans, Bankers Trust International

Gay Huey Evans is a senior managing director with Bankers Trust International. She began her career with Bankers Trust in 1984 as a vice-president in New York managing the derivative and fixed-income marketing divisions for financial institutions.

She moved to London in 1991, where she provides risk management products to investors and represents Bankers Trust at the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (Isda). Evans was elected chair of Isda in 1994. Her first year at the helm was a crisis year in the derivatives and swaps market and she made it her mission to talk to legislators and the press about the benefits of swaps transactions.

"I aim to make swaps and derivatives markets recognized as global business and end their isolation within particular financial centres," she says.

Back at base, Evans finds life in London an educational experience. "In New York, I performed in 11 of the 13 Gilbert and Sullivan operettas," she says. "It's great to finally be able to understand what I was singing about."

Gohar Bilal, Faysal Bank

Gohar Bilal is vice-president of Faysal Bank, Pakistan. After only six years in banking, Bilal's achievements are a success story in Pakistan's financial markets. They include raising Rs600 million ($15 million) single-handed for the syndication of the Oil and Gas Development Corporation and advising on the Crescent Hydrocracker project (worth $430 million).

She graduated in 1987 from Stanford University in the US and trained with Imperial Bank in California before returning to Pakistan. As vice-president, Bilal is responsible for expanding Faysal Bank's business with financial institutions and the public sector, specifically, financial advisory and raising local currency and foreign debt.

Though many in Pakistan describe finance as a man's world, Bilal claims that her gender has not been a disadvantage at any stage in her career and attributes her success to "hard work and the ability to communicate both internally and at senior marketing levels".

Haruko Fukuda, Nikko Europe

Haruko Fukuda, 51, became vice-chairman of Nikko Europe in 1992, having joined the board in 1988 ­ an unprecented appointment for a woman in a Japanese institution. She is also a director of the Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust and of First Ireland Investment Company.

Eldest daughter of the late Masaru Fukuda of the ministry of finance in Japan, she came to England in 1962 and graduated from New Hall, Cambridge, in 1968. She later went on to work at the World Bank in Washington and became a partner at James Capel for many years before joining Nikko.

Fukuda was one of the few women who succeeded in the early days of institutional stockbroking. "It has helped me to be a woman," says Fukuda. "Compared with today, there were very few women in finance so I stood out and people remembered me, and as a Japanese woman in finance, I stood out even more."

Inga-Maria Grohn, Ministry of Finance, Finland

Since 1996 Inga-Maria Grohn, 50, has been a financial counsellor and deputy to the director of finance at the Finnish ministry of finance. She is also on the board of directors of the European Investment Bank, the Nordic Investment Bank and the Mortgage Society of Finland. She is chairman of the committee responsible for economic and financial matters in Nordic cooperation. Previously, she was financial counsellor to the director of the bureau of government debt and international affairs. Between 1981 and 1982, Grohn was an assistant to the Nordic board member at the World Bank in Washington.

After graduating from the Swedish School of Economics with a master's degree in economic sciences, she took an executive diploma at the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. In 1970 she joined the Finnish ministry of finance, first as an assistant and later as secretary for international affairs and financial adviser.

Liz Merica, Rabobank

Liz Merica has recently been appointed head of a new group responsible for developing investment banking business for Rabobank in London. For the past three years, she has been head of the bank's debt capital markets in Utrecht where she achieved record profitability in new issues, while building up Rabobank's share of debt capital markets. Her work won awards for both new issues and funding. In London, Merica will take on responsibility for the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Switzerland and the "Club Med" region.

Merica has a BSc in management sciences from the University of Manchester's Institute of Science and Technology. She began her career at Manny Hanny in London as a senior manager responsible for bond sales in Hong Kong and New York. In 1985, Merica started work with Deutsche Bank as executive director and head of the London swaps group. Under her leadership, this became one of Deutsche bank's most profitable swaps groups.

Mai Lill Ibsen, Eksportfinans

As head of treasury and finance at Eksportfinans, Mai Lill Ibsen is responsible for an investment portfolio of almost $5 billion. She has held this position since 1991, during which time she has become a member of the board of directors of the Norwegian Society of Financial Analysts and a member of the financial markets committee of the Norwegian Bankers Association.

Ibsen graduated from the Norwegian School of Management in 1980 and went on to gain an MBA from the Stanford Graduate Business School in 1983.

In the same year she was taken on by Sparenbanken Nor as assistant general manager of the securities department. She moved over to Eksportfinans in 1985, working for six years as senior vice-president and head of the treasury department before taking on responsibility for finance as well in 1991.

Marcia de Wachter, National Bank of Belgium

Marcia De Wachter is secretary-general of the National Bank of Belgium. A well-published economist, she has produced numerous cabinet papers, books and articles on labour and economy in Belgium. As secretary-general she is responsible for all external relations of the bank, with the financial world, secretaries of state, international institutions and the press.

De Wachter's work has been central to the running of the Belgian economy. After 10 years in academic research, she became economic adviser on macroeconomic and labour economic problems to the Belgian prime minister in March 1986. Two years later she started work at the National Bank of Belgium as a coordinator and by 1990 she was the bank's spokeswoman.

Minati Misra, IFC

Minati Misra is the first woman to have chaired the annual Webster's MTN Conference ­ an achievement demonstrating her recognition within the dealing community. Currently senior risk management officer in the treasury of the IFC, Misra cannot imagine herself in any other career. Her only lament is to have left New York, the city that sleeps as little as she does.

Misra joined the IFC in 1991 as a consultant in the financial and treasury department. Although she was very knowledgeable in the fields of statistics and applied mathematics, this was her first exposure to financial risk. She now handles all the IFC's structured note issuance activity, as well as most derivatives transactions linked to IFC's borrowing and risk management.

Misra holds a PhD in operations research and quantitative analysis from the Stern School of Business. After seven years of academia, her first foray into the business world was three years at AT&T as a member of their business research group, followed by two years with American Express in charge of credit card risk management.

Zeynep Turkeri, TEB Research

Zeynep Turkeri says that when she became a researcher in 1969 the only corporate intelligence gathering was that done by a bank manager when he sat down to have a cup of Turkish coffee with a company's owner.

TEB Research, which she now runs, is considered by many to be the best research house in Turkey and well able to compete with seasoned western brokerages. The company belongs to Turkiye Ekonomi Bankasi but works completely independently.

When Turkeri was studying at Istanbul's prestigious Robert College she knew that she wanted to spend her life doing research. "I was interested in business but not in being a businesswoman," she says. She worked on research for 20 years for the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey. In 1990 she quit to help her husband who had become a self-made millionaire in tourism. Turkeri became chairman of the board for a luxury Mediterranean hotel belonging to her husband but soon was without a job. The Gulf War forced them to rent their hotel to a German group.Then she moved to TEB.

Nancy Birdsall, IADB

Nancy Birdsall is executive vice-president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). She is also the IDB president's deputy, able to exercise his authority in his absence.

Birdsall is thoroughbred multilateral material. She began work for the World Bank in 1971, staying until 1993 to achieve the position of director of the policy research department. In her final role, she was in charge of 85 people, chiefly economists responsible for the bank's economic research and policy analysis.

It is this centralized economist viewpoint that caused hostility to some of the changes that she initiated at the IDB. The IDB is a more localized investor, tending to examine issues on a one-by-one basis. With her relatively blanket approach, Birdsall stood accused of "worldbankalizing" the IDB. Still, largely thanks to Birdsall, the IDB appears to be in excellent shape; its loans have never been higher and it has boosted its capital to $101 billion.

Regina Prehofer, Creditanstalt

Regina Prehofer became deputy general manager and head of corporate finance division of Creditanstalt two years ago. When she joined the company in 1987 her initial role was as senior manager and deputy head of export and external investment finance. By 1992, she had been appointed head of foreign trade and international project finance and in less than a year she became assistant general manger and deputy head of the corporate finance division.

Having studied economics and then law at the University of Vienna, she went on to undertake a doctorate in both fields of study. After practising law for one year she joined the Austrian Credit Agency as deputy head of the legal department for export guarantees.

Stephanie Baeta Ansah, Home Finance Company, Ghana

As managing director of Home Finance Company, Ghana's apex mortgage financing institution, Stephanie Baeta Ansah oversees a mortgage portfolio of C27 billion ($14.6 million) and assets of C40 billion. She began her career in corporate law practice and in 1975 joined Merchant Bank of Ghana where she founded the legal department and worked on the first public offerings from Ghana-based multinationals such as Shell and BP. She was deputy managing director of MBG from 1982 until 1991, when she became the first managing director of HFC, a successful joint venture project between the Bank of Ghana, the World Bank and private investors, aimed at solving Ghana's critical home financing problem. In addition to her work at HFC, she is deputy chairman of the Ghana Stock Exchange and a director of Unilever Ghana, the Centre for Policy Analysis and Metropolitan & Allied Bank.

Baeta Ansah is well known for her plain speaking but says she is learning to be more diplomatic. Married with three children, she is a keen gardener and occasionally plays golf.

Naneen Neubohn, Morgan Stanley

Naneen Neubohn is a managing director with Morgan Stanley in London. She is also co-head of Morgan Stanley in Frankfurt with her time split between the two locations.

Neubohn is well versed in all aspects of Morgan Stanley's European business. Moving to London in 1990, she headed the European corporate restructuring group and in 1993 headed the debt capital markets group.

Neubohn was born in New York and graduated fr0m Smith College in 1961. She went on to gain an MA from the Paul Nitze School of advanced international studies, Johns Hopkins University, spending a year studying in Bologna, Italy. In 1974, Neubohn received her MBA from the Columbia University

Business School.

In 1974 she joined Morgan Stanley, gaining experience in the corporate finance department, the capital services markets group and the M&A department, before moving on to European business in 1988.

Violy McCausland, Violy, Byoram and Partners

Violy McCausland is chief executive of her own company, Violy, Byoram and Partners. Specializing in Latin America, she has personally led and executed M&A capital-raising transactions for a total value exceeding US$1.9 billion over the last eight years. Yet her career and reputation as a Latin America superstar are most remarkable for their survival though conditions of adversity.

McCausland (then de Harper) led the Latin American Restructuring Advisory and M&A business group and the Latin American credit analysis group as a managing director at JP Morgan for 14 years. During this period she became involved in the crisis at Spanish bank Banesto, but her timely departure from JP Morgan in the midst of the bank's collapse demonstrated her strategic ability. Far from being damaged by the whole affair, her reputation was unimpaired, if not improved, and she took the higher position of partner at Wolfensohn.

Under McCausland's influence, Wolfensohn became a leader in Latin American finance, but in search of fresher challenges she left to form her own company after just two years.

Theresa Lang, Merrill Lynch

As senior vice-president and treasurer of Merrill Lynch, Theresa Lang is responsible for all short-term and long-term funding, capital planning, cash management, bank relations, insurance amd finance risk.

"Treasury's role today is more directly linked to product development and client service than ever before," says Lang. "My prior line experience in relationship management, and in building Merrill Lynch's closed-end fund franchise, has been valuable to me in managing this transition."

Lang joined Merrill Lynch in 1984, having worked as an investment banking associate for Becker Paribas and as an equity researcher for Oppenheimer and Bear Stearns. German- born Lang has an economics degreee from Fordham University and an MBA from UCLA.

Renee Zecha, PT SBC Warburg

Renee Zecha is the president director and local joint venture partner of PT SBC Warburg Indonesia. She established the bank's Jakarta operations in 1995.

Zecha graduated from the London School of Economics in 1981 with a BSc in economics and started work as a financial journalist. She moved into investment banking four years later, gaining experience across the range of debt and equity business, dealing with Eurobond issues for large multinationals and supranationals and working with Hambros Bank in London and Sydney, and Citibank in Geneva. In 1992, she moved back to Indonesia to work with HSBC in Jakarta.

"My return to Indonesia fortuitously coincided with the dawning of the country's capital markets era," says Zecha, who has just been selected to chair the listing committee of the Jakarta Stock Exchange. "I've enjoyed the challenge of sharing and growing together with colleagues and clients whose common goal is to position Indonesia as a solid force on the Asian financial scene."

Abby Cohen, Goldman Sachs

Abby Cohen is managing director and co-chair of the investment policy committees at Goldman Sachs. She is responsible for the firm's US portfolio strategy and serves on the firm's stock selection committee. She joined in 1990 and has developed a high profile making numerous television appearances.

She began her career as an economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. Since then she has worked as a quantitative research director for T Rowe Price Associates, chief strategist for Drexel Burnham Lambert and became the managing director and chief US strategist for BZW.

Cohen is on the board of governors of the Association for Investment Management and Research, and recently served as chair of the board of trustees of the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts. She also serves on the boards of the International Society of Financial Analysts and the New York Society of Securities Analysts.

Noreen Harrington, BZW

Noreen Harrington is co-head of European fixed income in the global markets division at BZW. "Building businesses is the business," she says, having joined a new team during a time of transformation. She is currently working 20 hours a day, six days a week.

Since 1981 she has worked with the Prudential, trading US treasuries and money markets, and with Goldman Sachs, for whom she expanded non-dollar and global hedge fund sales and where she was made a managing director in 1996. She chose to join BZW because "with Emu around the corner, the markets will be more interesting over here in Europe ­ we'll be living history".

She sees her international experience as vital. "You cannot afford to be one-dimensional in money markets. We are now in the final stages of globalization."

Harrington is as energetic outside the office as in. "I grew up an athlete," she says, and lists an exhausting array of hobbies. "I'm not superwoman," she adds. "I used to think my Mum was superwoman, but I now realize no-one can do everything."

Yvonne Cliff, Juno Partners

Yvonne Cliff co-founded Wall Street's first women-only merchant bank. Juno Partners was established to purchase control equity positions in middle-market companies demonstrating strong growth potential. Targeting the health care, consumer and media industries, the bank is expecting to close its first transaction by the middle of 1997 while raising a $250 million private equity fund by the summer.

Cliff is a former general partner of Joseph, Littlejohn and Levy, a $400 million private equity fund where she was integral to obtaining returns in excess of 45%. In addition, she served as a director of four portfolio companies. During the 1980s Cliff worked at Drexel Burnham Lambert. More recently she developed and headed private equity at Chase Securities and at its predecessor, Chemical Securities.

Alexa Willson, Juno Partners

Alexa Willson co-founded Juno Partners with Yvonne Cliff. She believes their 30 years combined transaction experience and the women-only policy of the bank is a highly effective synthesis.

"Although we expect to close deals based on our talent and our track records, and not on gender," said Willson, "we do believe that the network amongst professional women is a huge resource that has scarcely been tapped by the investment banking community."

Willson was a founder and managing partner of Mille Capital after having worked as a senior investment banker at Kidder, Peabody and at Drexel Burnham Lambert alongside Yvonne Cliff.

During her career, she has structured more than $5 billion of debt and equity financing and since 1994 has been principal of her own financial advisory firm in New York.

The research for this article was coordinated by Kara Peters, with contributions from Katrin Fhima, Catherine Garner, Katherine Baxendale, Michael Marray, Metin Munir, Philip Eade, Michelle Celarier, Philippa Hansard and Brian Caplen

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