TIAA Appoints Thasunda Brown Duckett President and CEO

by savoystaff

TIAA, a leading provider of secure retirements and outcome-focused investment solutions to millions of people and thousands of institutions, named Thasunda Brown Duckett to succeed Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., as President and CEO.

Ms. Duckett will join TIAA on May 1 from JPMorgan Chase, where she was CEO of Chase Consumer Banking. Mr. Ferguson, who had previously announced his intention to retire on March 31, will remain as CEO until she assumes her new role.

“Thasunda is widely recognized as an exceptionally dynamic and inspirational leader,” said Ronald L. Thompson, Chairman of the TIAA Board of Trustees. “She brings invaluable experience leading and growing large, complex businesses, setting and executing strategy, improving client experience and attracting and developing talent. Equally important, she is deeply mission-oriented, with values that reflect those of TIAA, including a passion for financial inclusion and empowerment.”

In her most recent role at Chase, Ms. Duckett led a banking network with more than $600 billion in deposits, 4,900 branches and over 40,000 employees. With a vision and strategy that recognized retail branches serve as a critical linchpin for successful growth across multiple business lines such as small business, home lending and wealth management, she undertook Chase’s first major branch expansion in 10 years to add 400 new branches in 20 new markets over five years. This strategy also reflected Ms. Duckett’s commitment to improving the lives of individual customers and local communities by providing more jobs, neighborhood resources and access to financial services.

Ms. Duckett also has critical experience integrating and enhancing distribution of financial services, including driving the adoption of digital engagement at Chase to create different ways for people to engage with their money. These initiatives directly contributed to the bank’s ranking as #1 in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power, #1 for its mobile app and the #1 most visited online portal among U.S. retail banks. She also drove Chase’s development of new tools, products and thought leadership to build financial health and wealth for consumers.

“I often think about the day my father asked me to help him plan his retirement, and I had to tell him, ‘Dad, your pension is not enough,'” said Ms. Duckett. “Now, thanks to his work and sacrifices and the support of many others who have guided me throughout my life and career, I am blessed to join TIAA, which has paid out over $500 billion of lifetime income and other benefits since its founding in 1918. I am extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to lead a company that has helped millions of people retire with ‘enough’ to live in dignity and excited about the opportunity to help TIAA chart its next 100 years.”

Throughout her career, Ms. Duckett has been a tireless and purpose-driven champion for change. She was the executive sponsor of JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways program, an initiative aimed at helping Black Americans close historical achievement gaps in wealth creation, educational outcomes and career success. Ms. Duckett also sat on the steering committee for the bank’s Women on the Move initiative to help women advance their career and business opportunities, and she is committed to financial education for women, who account for a significant portion of the retirement investments TIAA stewards. Most recently, Ms. Duckett led Chase’s accelerated focus on communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and was the executive sponsor of the bank’s Fellowship Initiative, which offers young men of color academic and social support to help them achieve personal and professional success.

“Thasunda’s dedication to putting people first – clients and colleagues – ensures that TIAA will continue to create lifetime income for millions of people working in higher education, healthcare, government, the arts and other nonprofit sectors,” said James R. Chambers, Chairman Elect of the Board who also served as Chair of the CEO search committee. “My fellow board members and I look forward to working with her and her leadership team to further enhance our ability to serve our clients, our communities and our people.”

“Thasunda is the right person to lead TIAA at a time when its work has never been more important and when the challenges of fostering financial stability and inclusion have never been greater,” said Mr. Ferguson, who will continue to serve TIAA as an advisor. “I am very grateful and heartened that we have found a leader who is as inspired by our mission as I have been ever since I had the great fortune to join this amazing company almost 13 years ago.”

Ms. Duckett has been recognized widely as a leading executive in finance. In 2019, she was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful “Women to Watch.” and American Banker magazine named her the 7th Most Powerful Woman in Banking.

Ms. Duckett began her career at Fannie Mae, leading affordable housing initiatives for people of color. She holds a B.A. in finance and marketing from the University of Houston and an MBA from the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.

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