Meet Titi Cole, one of the most powerful women in global finance

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Key Highlights

  • Titi Cole is a powerful woman in the global finance industry, thanks to her 20+ stint in various organisations.
  • Cole recently resigned from her role as Citigroup Executive leaving a notable gap in Citigroup’s leadership, particularly as one of the most esteemed Black women in the industry.
  • She played a crucial role at Citigroup in implementing the bank’s extensive restructuring plan, which saw the layoff of about 5000 people.

Titi Cole, a prominent female figure in finance and a senior executive at Citigroup, recently resigned after a fruitful four-year tenure with the bank.

Her departure marks the loss of one of the most esteemed Black women in the finance industry, leaving a notable void in Citigroup’s leadership cadre.

At Citigroup, Cole held a pivotal role in spearheading the implementation of the bank’s comprehensive restructuring plan.

Widely recognized as one of the most influential Black women in finance, Cole boasts a distinguished career spanning over two decades, marked by her trailblazing contributions to the industry.

Cole’s decision to leave Citigroup follows the bank’s completion of a major reorganization effort, initiated by Chief Executive Jane Fraser in September. Cole’s expertise and leadership have been instrumental in navigating the complexities of this restructuring process.

Before her tenure at Citigroup, Cole brought her expertise to bear at Wells Fargo, where she played a pivotal role in revitalizing the troubled consumer unit amidst a series of scandals. Her adept leadership and strategic vision contributed significantly to Wells Fargo’s recovery efforts.

In 2022, Cole assumed responsibility for overseeing Citigroup’s withdrawal from consumer banking operations across multiple countries, as part of a broader initiative to streamline the bank’s operations. While much progress has been made in this endeavour, a major task remains unfinished, particularly in managing the transition of the consumer bank in Mexico, which is slated for an initial public offering next year.

Titi Cole’s background

Titilope Cole’s over 20 years of professional experience takes root in a robust educational foundation, marked by a commitment to continuous learning and academic excellence.

Cole commenced her educational journey at the University of Ibadan, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics in 1992, laying the groundwork for her future endeavours with a solid understanding of economic principles and theory.

Building upon this foundation, Cole pursued further academic enrichment at Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management, where she embarked on a transformative journey culminating in the attainment of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 1998.

She returned to Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management in 2019 to augment her expertise with a Kellogg Executive Scholar designation in General Management.

Since May 2017, Cole has served as a Board of Trustees Member at Queens University of Charlotte.

Cole is also a member of the Board of Directors at CARE, a renowned humanitarian organization dedicated to disaster relief and global development efforts, since July 2023

Work experience

Titi Cole’s professional journey reads like a roadmap of leadership and innovation, marked by significant roles in top-tier organizations spanning multiple industries.

Beginning at McKinsey & Company in September 1998, Cole cut her teeth as an Engagement Manager, honing her skills in management consulting for five years and seven months.

In March 2004, she embarked on a new chapter of her career at BMO Harris Bank, assuming the role of Senior Vice President and Group Executive for Retail Banking. Her tenure at BMO spanned over six years and six months.

  • Cole’s journey led her to the esteemed halls of Bank of America, where she held various senior executive positions from August 2010 to December 2015.
  • Notably, she served as Senior Vice President and Senior Executive, overseeing Retail Products, underwriting, and payment solutions.
  • Following her tenure at Bank of America, Cole transitioned to Wells Fargo, where she assumed the mantle of Executive Vice President and Head of Operations.
  • Her leadership prowess was further evidenced during her tenure from April 2017 to July 2020, where she spearheaded operational strategies with a keen eye for efficiency and excellence.
  • Augmenting her portfolio, Cole’s journey took a transformative turn with her appointment at Citi in August 2020.
  • As the Global Head of Operations and Fraud Prevention, alongside her role as Chief Client Officer for the Global Consumer Bank, she wielded her expertise to fortify operational frameworks and drive client-centric initiatives. Subsequently, in February 2022, she ascended to the position of CEO, of Legacy Franchises, at Citi, assuming stewardship over critical components of the banking behemoth’s operations.

In her current capacity as an Independent Board Director at Datadog since June 2022, Cole continues to demonstrate her astute leadership and strategic vision, contributing her wealth of experience to guide the trajectory of the innovative technology company.

 


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