Sallie Krawcheck

One of the Most Respected Voices on Wall Street

Sallie Krawcheck
  • Former CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, the largest wealth management business in the world
  • Fierce women’s advocate and chair of the global professional women’s network Ellevate
  • Named as number seven on Forbes’ 2005 list of “The World’s Most Powerful Women”
  • Draws on two decades on Wall Street to offer insider analysis of current investment and financial services strategy

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Sallie Krawcheck’s professional mission is to help women reach their financial and professional goals. This spans several businesses: she is the CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, a new digital investment platform for women. She is also the Chair of Ellevate Network, the global professional woman’s network. And she is the Chair of the Pax Ellevate Global Woman’s Index Fund, which invests in the top-rated companies in the world for advancing women.

Krawcheck is the past CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, the largest wealth management business in the world, at $2.2 trillion in client balances.

She has a track record of turning around and innovating to drive growth in a number of businesses. These include:

• Reversing the decline in Merrill Lynch’s profitability and Advisor headcount and stabilizing US Trust while at Bank of America, gaining share across the wealth management businesses;

• Separating research from investment banking at Citi, to restore the business’ reputation and profitability in the wake of the Wall Street research scandal;

• Substantially growing Sanford Bernstein’s research business by avoiding the conflicts of investment banking; and

• Integrating and launching the innovative Merrill Edge, Merrill Lynch’s on-line offering.

In addition, alone among senior Wall Street executives, Krawcheck reimbursed individual investor clients for a portion of losses incurred during the financial downturn from poorly performing products sold by Citi and, later again, at Bank of America.

Prior to joining Bank of America, Krawcheck was the CEO and Chair for Citi Global Wealth Management, responsible for Smith Barney, the Citi Private Bank, and Citi Investment Research. During her time at Citi, she was also a member of the senior leadership committee and executive committee.

Krawcheck joined Citi in October 2002 as Chair and CEO of Smith Barney, where she oversaw the global management of the Smith Barney and Citi Investment Research businesses. In 2004, she was appointed Chief Financial Officer for Citigroup. In this role she was responsible for a number of asset dispositions, including the sales of Travelers P&C and Citi Asset Management. 

Prior to joining Citi, Krawcheck was Chair and CEO of Sanford C. Bernstein & Company. She began her career as a research analyst, covering the financial services industry, a role in which she was consistently ranked first in her field by “Institutional Investor.”

Krawcheck was named number 9 on Fast Company’s 2014 “100 Most Creative People in Business” list, as well as one of “10 Up and Coming Leaders to Watch” by Entrepreneur Magazine. During the research scandals, Fortune Magazine called her “The Last Honest Analyst” and noted that hers was the most influential voice for research quality and integrity. She has been listed as one of Forbes’ and Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women” in business and U.S. Banker’s top “Woman to Watch.” She is a past recipient of CNBC's “Business Leader of the Future Award,” was one of Time magazine’s “Global Business Influentials,” Fortune’s “Most Influential Person Under the Age of 40” and an “Institutional Investor” top CFO in financial services.  She was recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of its Young Global Leaders. 

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Krawcheck attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the Morehead Scholarship and graduated in 1987 with academic honors in Journalism and Political Science. In 1992, she received a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.

An active participant in the affairs of her alma maters, Krawcheck has endowed her former secondary school, The Porter Gaud School, with the Krawcheck Scholarship, a needs-based scholarship awarding full tuition to students of exceptional aptitude. She is on the Board of 2U. She is a member of the Systemic Risk Council, founded by Sheila Bair; is on the Bretton Woods Committee, the investment committee for The University of North Carolina and the board of overseers of Columbia University Business School.  Krawcheck is a past member of the Board of Directors of Dell Inc, Blackrock, Carnegie Hall and the NY Economic Club.

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Speaker Video

The Business Case for Diverse Leadership

Insights on How to Navigate the Financial Services Industry Safely and Come Out Ahead....From “The Most Powerful Woman on Wall Street.” One of the most important issues facing the US is the savings and wealth of individuals. Offering insights gleaned from two decades on Wall Street, and running two of the largest wealth management businesses in the world, Sallie Krawcheck offers an insider perspective into what works and what doesn’t in investing, saving and navigating Wall Street. In this talk, she points to conventional wisdom that no longer works, continuing areas of risk in the industry and a path forward for the industry and for navigating the industry.

The Outsider Inside: The “Last Honest Analyst” on The Future of Wealth Management. The wealth management business is the subject of much commentary by industry pundits….a good portion of it wrong. The business is in many ways stronger than conventional wisdom would have it – but faces some significant obstacles and headwinds that if not addressed will have a meaningful impact on the business (as well as its cousins, the asset management and research businesses). Having run two of the largest wealth management businesses in the world, Ms Krawcheck offers insider insights, many counter-intuitive, into the business that financial services professionals will find useful as they participate in, partner with or serve that business.

The Outsider Inside: The “Last Honest Analyst” on The Future of Financial Services. As a top-ranked research analyst, a Chief Financial Officer and senior manager in financial services over the past 20 years, Sallie Krawcheck has an unmatched perspective on the financial services industry. It is an industry whose future is uncertain, given stepped-up regulation, populist anger, an unfavorable operating environment and the increasing importance of technology. Unraveling the secular from the merely cyclical is challenging but crucial, both for the industry, as well as for the broader economy. Ms. Krawcheck does so, with an insider’s knowledge and an analyst’s perspective.

Leadership Lessons Learned from Working for 7 (Yes, 7) Financial Services CEOs in the Best and Toughest of Times. Ms. Krawcheck has been on the front lines of financial services for the past two-plus decades. During that time, she has led and managed complex businesses through some of the most volatile markets in history. At the same time she has had a front-row seat in working directly for 7 financial services CEOs, at all points in their career spectra, gleaning important insights into leadership during crisis on what works and what fails. Offering sharp insight, laced with humor, Ms Krawcheck lays out the most important lessons in leadership, and particularly in leadership under fire.

Women and Money: Insights from the “Most Powerful Woman on Wall Street.” The US is in the midst of a financial planning crisis, and nowhere more so than among women. Women live on average 6 years longer than men, but save just 2/3s as much for retirement. The causes are widespread, from earning less than men at every stage of their careers, to outsourcing financial management to the men in their lives.

This talk can be tailored to women’s groups looking for how to engage on this, or to financial services firms who see this as a business opportunity:

For women’s groups – Ms. Krawcheck brings practical advice and tips, learned both from her business background, as well as from her own personal experience, for women at every stage of their lives.

For businesses – The business opportunity that this presents is significant, but it’s not as easy as putting a pink bow on the checking account. Many firms have failed in the pursuit of women. Ms. Krawcheck offers insights into this important and growing market, which derive from her business as well as her personal experiences.

Lessons for Women in Business—from the Most Senior Woman in the Most Male of Businesses. Ms Krawcheck has been on the front lines of financial services for the past two-plus decades. During that time, she has led and managed complex businesses through some of the most volatile markets in history. At the same time she has had a front-row seat in working directly for 7 financial services CEOs, at all points in their career spectra, gleaning important insights into leadership during crisis on what works and what fails. Offering sharp insight, laced with humor, Ms Krawcheck lays out the most important lessons in leadership, and particularly in leadership under fire.

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