Citi picks Jane Fraser as next CEO, first woman in that role

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Citigroup Inc Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat will step down in February 2021, after 37 years with the bank, and will be succeeded by President Jane Fraser, making her the first-ever woman executive to head a major Wall Street bank.

Fraser has always been seen as a rising star on Wall Street, and previous year was seen as a potential CEO candidate by Wells Fargo & Co's board, before it settled on former JPMorgan executive Charles Scharf. The bank eventually settled on former JPMorgan executive Charles Scharf.

She let Corbat know that she was getting interest from executive recruiters to run a major bank, and if Corbat wanted her to stay, she needed to be promoted, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

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Citigroup, the third-largest bank in the USA, said on Thursday that Jane Fraser will become its chief executive in February. Before now, US bank CEOs have mostly been men, and just a small handful of women head Fortune 500 companies. Ana Botín is the executive chairman of Spain's Banco Santander, a role she has held since 2014 after the death of her father, Emilio.

The New York bank announced the succession Thursday. Under his leadership, Citigroup said, the bank's net income almost tripled, from $7 billion to roughly $20 billion. "Great news for the company and for women everywhere", she wrote. "There is always more to do and I believe the time is right for my successor to lead Citi through this next stage of progress". She worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey & Company before joining Citi in 2004. In a prepared statement, Fraser said, "Citi is an incredible institution with a proud history and a bright future". "She is an unknown entity to the street", Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo wrote in a note to investors on Thursday. Corbat, 60, will leave Citi after an eight-year tenure that began with the sudden resignation of his predecessor, Vikram S. Pandit, amid a revolt by its board. Under his leadership, the bank sought to rebuild after the 2008 global financial crisis.

Fraser is a 16-year veteran of the company with an MBA from Harvard Business School and a masters degree in economics from England's Cambridge University.

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