BANK OF AMERICA
Catherine P. Bessant is Global Technology and Operations executive at Bank of America and is a member of the company’s executive management team. She is responsible for delivering end-to-end technology and operations across the company through a global team of more than 100,000 employees and contractors.
Bessant also chairs Bank of America’s Environmental Council and oversees the company’s 10-year, $50 billion environmental business goal announced in June 2012 to help address climate change, reduce demands on natural resources and advance lower-carbon economic solutions. The new goals, effective Jan. 1, 2013, follow the anticipated completion of the company’s current 10-year, $20 billion environmental business initiative – a program that is more than four years ahead of schedule.
Previously, Bessant was president of Global Corporate Banking, a division of Global Banking and Markets. Global Corporate Banking delivers corporate finance, treasury, debt and risk management products to 80 percent of Global Fortune 500 and 99 percent of U.S. Fortune 500 corporations, along with multinational companies, financial institutions and governments. Prior to her role in Global Corporate Banking, Bessant was president of the bank’s Global Treasury Services and Global Product Solutions groups.
Bessant joined Bank of America as a corporate banker in Texas in 1982, and later was president of Consumer Real Estate and Community Development Banking, leading mortgage lending and operations nationwide, as well as the full complement of Bank of America community development activities.
She served as president of Bank of America, Florida, managing commercial, consumer, small business and mass affluent segments, including more than 800 banking centers and $46 billion in total assets. Subsequently, as national Small Business Segment executive, Bessant led a group serving more than two million small business customers in the U.S.
Bessant also was chief marketing officer for Bank of America, where she was responsible for worldwide marketing, public policy and charitable giving.
Bessant is an active member of industry-related, civic and cultural institutions. She chairs the board of directors of Foundation For The Carolinas and is a member of the board of directors of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. Bessant is a member of the advisory committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. She is a former chair of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the Citizens’ Task Force on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
In December 2011, Bessant was named “Best CIO” by technology trade publication Waters Technology at their annual American Financial Technology Awards banquet. The award is one of two top recognitions bestowed by Waters and regarded as one of the most prestigious in the technology industry.
Download Cathy Bessant's biography (printable PDF format)
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Sept. 4, 2012 - Most Powerful Women in Banking, American Banker – Cathy Bessant
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