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The city’s most influential women WORDS YASMINE CHINWALA photography EVA VERMANDEL

This time last year, the role of women in finance was in the spotlight. Greater diversity at board level, it was felt, would promote governance and could prevent another credit crisis, and trawling the female talent pool was essential to economic recovery. One year on, and the gender agenda has once again been left on the sidelines. But the fourth annual Financial News FN100 list of the most influential women in the European financial markets is a testament to the sterling female contribution to the City. From a long list of 250 nominees, assessed for their influence, leadership in their company and market sector, and career performance, a final 100 were selected, eight of whom we profile here. To read the profiles of all the FN100 Influential Women, visit efinancialnews.com/fn100 Brummell would like to thank The Eight Club Moorgate (0808 180 1858, eighclub.co.uk/EC2) where these portraits were taken


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Leonie Ryan head of global product issuance, Nomura

Mireille Dyrberg chief executive, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, TriOptima

Not many investment bankers are brave enough to take a career break after 10 years, to do charity work. But Ryan did just that. Before joining Lehman Brothers in 2006, Ryan went to Thailand, where, she says, her work in the post-tsunami crisis helped her maintain perspective through the global financial crisis and Lehman’s collapse. In 2008, she was appointed COO of liquid markets for the US and Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA), and, just 14 weeks after Nomura bought Lehman’s European arm, Ryan had the business trading again. She continued to spearhead Nomura’s drive to become the top-ranked bank by market share on the London Stock Exchange, before being promoted to her current role in April.

Born in Denmark, Dyrberg studied in the US and UK, then undertook a joint masters programme at Exeter University and the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She worked for Reuters, Merrill Lynch, Commerzbank and Dresdner Kleinwort before joining, in 2008, TriOptima, a post-trade processing services firm in the over-the-counter derivatives space. Dyrberg is also part of the team selected last October to build a global rates repository to a very tight deadline. By January, TriOptima had delivered to banking regulators the first reports on OTC interest rate derivative volumes, offering insight into a notoriously opaque market. Dyrberg is a regular speaker at industry and regulatory forums on counterparty credit risk, operational processes and collateral management.


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Sharon Bowles Member of the European Parliament and chair of the European Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee A former patent lawyer with a doctorate in semiconductor research, Bowles moved into politics in 1992. She chairs the European Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, which is responsible for regulation, the free movement of capital and payments, tax provisions and the functioning of the euro. Dubbed a ‘quiet heroine’ for her work on the controversial Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive, Bowles will play an important role in shaping European financial regulation, including the so-called MiFiD II. She has also lobbied hard for bankers' bonuses to be paid in contingent capital rather than cash or shares – legislation of which she is particularly proud. For her retirement, the 57-year-old is ‘planning a forest garden for vertical growing of food’.


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Virginie Maisonneuve head of global and international equities, Schroders Maisonneuve’s investment career spans 22 years, but she shows no signs of slowing down. She joined Schroders in 2004 and is responsible for managing more than $12.8bn of assets. She has recently launched a new, high-conviction global 30-stock strategy on the back of stellar performance for Schroders’ flagship global alpha fund, which outperformed the MSCI World index by 17 percentage points last year. Maisonneuve began her working life as a consultant with the French ministry of foreign affairs in China and was one of the pioneer investors in the markets there, but her ties to the country reach beyond her professional life – when she retires, she intends to help the Chinese orphanages from which she adopted her daughters.


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Nicola Beattie managing director, Market Structure Partners Beattie considers herself a woman with ‘great integrity and a good sense of humour’. She started out as a temp at Security Pacific, then worked at Merrill Lynch, becoming head of market structure for EMEA, responsible for its relationships, investments and developments with stock exchanges, multilateral trading facilities and clearing houses. She was also one of the driving forces behind landmark trading initiatives Turquoise and Boat. Beattie left Merrill in 2008 after 14 years to set up a consultancy providing advice on market structure, and is one of three UK representatives on a committee of 17 experts working on the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFiD). Beattie sees running her own business as an opportunity to strike a work/life balance.


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Cecile Belaman Director of investor relations, Europe, Bain Capital

Jane Fraser chief executive, Citi Private Bank

Belaman has a strong sense of work/life balance. She says her greatest achievement is ‘being a happily-married, full-time working mother of two adorable children’. As the liaison between Bain Capital and its European investors as well as for global investors into the firm’s European private equity funds, Belaman will play an essential role when the firm starts its next round of fundraising. Sentiment towards the buyout industry has been far from positive recently, but Belaman is well prepared. Before joining Bain Capital in 2008, she spent nine years at Morgan Stanley, most recently in its private equity fund-of-funds business, and before that, was at JPMorgan and HVS International. When she retires, she hopes to try the recipes she’s been hoarding and to play piano again.

With a masters from Cambridge, a Harvard MBA and roles at both McKinsey and Goldman Sachs on her CV, Fraser is accustomed to hard work and strategic thinking. As global head of strategy and mergers and acquisitions for Citigroup, she played an integral role in reshaping the bank, executing more than 25 deals in 18 months to deliver $20bn in capital and $10bn in cost savings. ‘For a woman who loves shopping,’ she says, ‘I was doing an awful lot of selling.’ In June last year, she took on a new challenge, running Citi’s private bank, which serves 26,000 high-net-worth clients, including a third of the world’s billionaires. Fraser has already put in place a new global leadership team, overhauled the approach to identifying and retaining talent, changed compensation structures.


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Manaz Safa co-head of debt capital markets, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, UBS Last September, Safa was named co-head of debt capital markets for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at UBS, her fourth promotion in just two years, having joined the Swiss bank in 1992. This year, she has played a pivotal role in its DCM recruitment drive, hiring across securitisation, bond origination, derivatives and emerging markets. UBS is eighth in Dealogic’s DCM bookrunner league table for the year to date, up from 16th last year. Safa has also been integral to the creation of the insurance and pensions industry group within UBS’s fixed-income, currency and commodities division. Having taken an active role in recruiting and mentoring female talent, Safa is also a board member of UBS’s women’s network, All Bar None.

HAIR Noriko Takayama MAKE-UP Elizabeth Hsieh

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The City's Most Influential Women