Karen Fang

Courtesy of Bank of America
  • Age
  • Title
    Managing Director
  • Company
    Bank of America

At 17, Karen Fang hit a crossroads. Fluent in English (she won third place in a national speech competition), the China-born investment banker wanted to study overseas, but her parents would only let her go as far as Japan, where all she could say was hello and goodbye. That didn’t stop her. Fang completed a two-year Japanese language course in two months, and was enrolled in the highly ranked University of Tokyo by the next semester. She’s been on the fast road ever since. Five years ago, she was poached from Goldman Sachs—where she made her name convincing a number of large pension funds to hedge in the run up to the financial crisis—by Bank of America to run a first of its kind on Wall Street cross-asset, cross-industry structured-strategies group (“It’s about solutions, not products,” she says). She has since grown her group to 55 from 10, and Risk magazine named B of A the top structured product house on Wall Street in 2015. Last year, Fang was also tapped by senior management to streamline the bank’s deal approval process. In April, she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.