Most Powerful Women in Finance

By McCrary, Ernest | Global Finance, August 2000 | Go to article overview

Most Powerful Women in Finance


McCrary, Ernest, Global Finance


Over the last generation or so women have made serious inroads into the highest echelons of almost every profession and are familiar fixtures in the fields of media, marketing, medicine, law, and academia.Yet finance remains a male bastion, especially at top levels. A few women, however, have made breakthroughs-- and sometimes in very unexpected places.

With this report, Global Finance has identified some of the Most Powerful Women in Finance today. Who are they? Some are forceful dealmakers who have earned their stripes in global M&A wars. Others have been richly rewarded for their analytical and strategy-planning skills. Some have done wonders with family firms. And others excel in high-pressure political and regulatory arenas as central bank governors.

Their presence is making a difference in their organizations, and colleagues particularly praise them for "special talents" such as personal communication skills and shrewd intuition-which are seldom the forte of their male counterparts.

So for the first time, Global Finance is featuring a score of the Most Powerful Women in Finance. This selection encompasses leading financial positions in the private sector, and positions of equal influence in the public-service world. CEOs, entrepreneurs, and other nonfinancial executives were not considered. This list, based on global reporting by our entire staff, is hardly comprehensive. But at least it demonstrates a remarkable diversity of accomplishment around the world by ladies who clearly should be top-ranking members of any financial fraternity.. if they wanted to be.

Bodil Nyboe Andersen

Governor

Nationalbank of Demark

Bodil Nyboe Andersen, governor of Denmark's Nationalbank, is one of only a handful of female central bankers in the world. She has served on the Danish bank's board of governors for the past 10 years and economists agree that she has "a lot of credibility in defending the nation's currency." She has consistently kept up the target for the krone, which has not been repegged despite fluctuations in exchange rates. She ranked in the "A category in Global Finance's 1999 Central Banker Report Card issue. Andersen joined the administration of the central bank in 1990-"an offer I couldn't resist," she says. After five years as a board member, she was appointed chairman.

After receiving a master of economics degree from the University of Copenhagen, Andersen joined the Danish Ministry of Economic Affairs as a "young economist" She was there for only two years, however, before returning to the university as an associate professor. During the next 12 years at the university, teaching courses and conducting research at the Institute of Economics, she also found time to serve on the boards of several financial corporations and to raise two sons.

In 1980 she then became the managing director of Andelsbanken, then the fourth-largest commercial bank in Denmark. By the end of her 10-year stint at the bank, it had merged with two other banks to form Unibank, where she again was managing director for the Unidanmark Group.

Recognizing that she is one of the few women in such a position among financiers, she says:"Normally, it is not an issue that concerns me very much. All my life I have lived in a world dominated by men, so I'm used to it and don't see it as a problem."

Ana Botin

CEO

Coverlink

Ana Patricia Botin, the CEO of Coverlink, Spain's largest Internet consulting company, has been creating glob al business since her career began.

Coverlink, which she launched early last year, already has more than 200 employees and includes clients like Vodafone, Telmex, and Airtel, the second largest cellular service in Europe.

Botin began working for J.P Morgan in 1981 after studying at Harvard and Bryn Mawr Universities. She spent seven years at J.P Morgan's latin American division, eventually becoming a vice president. Most of her professional years, however have been spent with Banco San tander Central Hispano. …

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