Wall Street moves closer to getting another female CEO

May 19, 2021, 12:50 PM UTC

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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The UN falls behind its peer organizations on promoting women economists, Pinterest sets new diversity targets, and JPMorgan takes a step toward shattering its glass ceiling. Have a great Wednesday.

– Chasing the job. Just two years ago, Wall Street had never had a female CEO at a major American bank, as Claire memorably examined in her 2019 feature. That changed this year, when Jane Fraser was named CEO of Citi.

Yesterday, the finance industry moved closer to cracking that glass ceiling once again. JPMorgan Chase named Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak coheads of its consumer and community banking business. The appointments keep both executives on track as leading candidates to succeed Jamie Dimon as JPMorgan’s chief executive.

Lake: Caitlin Ochs—Reuters; Piepszak: Courtesy of JPMorgan Chase

Piepszak is the bank’s CFO, while Lake held that role herself before becoming consumer-lending chief. Back in 2019, both were seen as leading candidates to succeed Dimon. But at the time, the CEO said, “[We] don’t comment on succession plans. That’s a board-level issue. We have exceptional women. And my successor may very well be a woman, and it may not. And it really depends on the circumstance.”

The circumstance seems to be, insiders say, that either woman is very likely to be the next CEO of JPMorgan, assuming normal succession-planning takes place. (If Dimon were to have to suddenly step down, COO Daniel Pinto would be the emergency replacement.)

But there are a few questions. The shared job Lake and Piepszak are jointly stepping into was previously handled by a single executive, Gordon Smith. People inside JPMorgan, however, are quick to note that the two women “are friends” and don’t view the shared responsibility as a “succession race.”

The unit Lake and Piepszak will be leading accounts for 40% of JPMorgan’s total profit, per WSJ. And taking on such major P&L, or profit and loss, responsibility is a critical step for any CEO candidate. Will success in this role be enough to get either woman into the top job? Dimon is likely to stay in the position for about five more years, but—despite what the executives may say—the race is on.

Emma Hinchliffe

The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe


- Econ 101. Why aren't there more women economists at the UN? Women have risen to the top of the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the World Bank, but the UN lags behind. Foreign Policy

- Treasury pitch. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is seeking to win support from corporate America for the Biden administration's infrastructure and tax plans. At a Chamber of Commerce event this week, she called on the corporate sector to contribute by "bearing its fair share." Wall Street Journal

- Delayed firstSamoa will get its first female prime minister, after Fiame Naomi Mata'afa's April election win was validated by the country's Supreme Court. She ousted Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who has been ruling since 1998. BBC

- New targets. After last year's allegations of gender and racial discrimination, Pinterest set new targets for diversity in its workforce. The tech company wants employees from underrepresented racial groups to make up 20% of its workforce by 2025 (up from 12% now) and for women to hold 36% of leadership positions (up from 30% now). Wall Street Journal

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Blockchain.com hired Lime and Uber alum Lindsey Haswell as chief legal and administrative officer. Signify Health hired CVS Health chief privacy officer Tracey Scraba as deputy counsel and Lee Health's Lisa Wagamon as head of network development. 


- Activist miss. Activist investors asked Duke Energy, led by CEO Lynn Good, to separate its business, one of the U.S.'s largest by market cap, into three regional utilities. But the market didn't move in response to Elliott Management's proposal, suggesting that it's unlikely to have much impact. Wall Street Journal

- World's wealthiest. After the death of banking tycoon Joseph Safra in December, his fortune was passed down to his wife and children. Vicky Safra now owns and controls much of Switzerland’s J. Safra Sarasin and Brazil’s Banco Safra, together worth about $90 billion, making her one of the wealthiest women in the world. Bloomberg 

- French take. Elisabeth Moreno is the minister leading gender and racial diversity efforts in the French government. In a recent interview, Moreno, who is Black, said that "woke culture," which she sees as an American phenomenon, isn't right for France. "Everyone should fight discrimination. You can’t ask someone not to speak about a topic because the person doesn’t feel legitimate," she said. "It makes no sense." Bloomberg


Val Demings to run for Senate against Rubio Politico

What Issa Rae wants: She’s saying goodbye to Insecure, rebooting Project Greenlight, and more Vanity Fair

Knix raises $43.5 million as investors bet big on period underwear Business of Fashion


"I feel that having a No. 1 record derailed my career, and my tearing the photo put me back on the right track."

-Sinead O’Connor, reframing the common interpretation of her career

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