Karen Peetz was the President of Bank of New York Mellon (BNY) Corporation, the largest deposit bank in the world. As BNY’s first female president, she oversees the company’s global client management, regional management, treasury services business, and regulatory oversight functions. Peetz helped BNY Mellon recover in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and led the bank through the 2008 financial crisis. She has consistently been named among American Banker’s “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking,” and was ranked at the top of the list in 2011.
Known for her outstanding management style and crisis management skills, Peetz’s banking career, including her involvement in other industry and charitable endeavors, spans over thirty years. Peetz started as a field hockey and lacrosse athlete at Pennsylvania State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree. After earning a Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Science degree from The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, she joined Chemical Bank, and then J.P. Morgan Chase & Company (Chase).
While with Chase, Peetz accepted a position overseas in London, which involved relocating her young family. She described for ForbesWoman the challenges of being the only expatriate mother with a staff of seventy during a time when it was “very novel for [the employees] to have a female boss, let alone an American boss.” Peetz subsequently spent sixteen years with Chase in a variety of sales and business management positions, before joining BNY Mellon in 1998.
Breaking the glass ceiling is no easy task, and Peetz describes herself as a goal-getter. In fact, she has a folder that tracks three decades of her own goal setting. In a commentary for Fortune Magazine, Peetz shared her advice on leadership: “Being a leader means having grit—sticking with it when the going gets tough—and caring about people. In any industry, but particularly in a male-dominated one, you will always be challenged. Whether on the sports fields or in business, it’s the gritty people who lead with integrity to help their teams’ and companies’ success.” This longtime focus on self-mastery has made Peetz one of the most powerful women on Wall Street.
Peetz, a mother of two, serves on the Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees and the Advisory Board for the Carey Business School. She is member of the Board of Directors for the Global Lyme Alliance and a member of the Business Committee for New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other organizations.
Karen's bio contributed by ANNA DU.