Thasunda Brown Duckett named one of the most powerful women in finance by American Banker

BY Preta Peace Namasaba October 11, 2023 12:37 AM EDT

Thasunda Brown Duckett has been recognized as one of the 2023 most powerful women in finance by American Banker, maintaining her impressive number 3 ranking from 2022. The list pays homage to women who lead the most significant and influential financial institutions in the United States, covering areas such as asset management, securities exchange, investment banking, and wealth management.

Duckett, who is no stranger to holding a prominent position, stands out as the sole Black woman on this list. Duckett’s leadership as the first female CEO of TIAA, ranked at 103, is instrumental for the nation’s leading nonprofit retirement market provider, responsible for managing over $1.3 trillion in assets, serving more than 4.7 million individual customers and over 12,000 institutional clients.

Duckett’s mission is far from over, as a significant number of Americans face the risk of running out of money in retirement, and women continue to retire with 30% less income than men. Moreover, 53% of Black Americans lack access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. In partnership with her colleagues at TIAA, Duckett remains committed to the #RetireInequality campaign to pave the way for a more financially secure future for all Americans.

Despite having joined the company only two years ago, Duckett’s influence at TIAA is already palpable. During Women’s History Month in 2022, TIAA launched the #RetireInequality campaign, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Title IX. The campaign, in collaboration with notable figures from the NCAA and WNBA, aimed to advance the status of women in sports and society.

Duckett’s dedication extends to ensuring that all Americans can save adequately for retirement. As part of this mission, TIAA recently divested its bank to a group of private investors for $36.8 billion, resulting in the renaming of the financial services company to EverBank. TIAA still retains a board seat and a non-controlling ownership stake in the bank, allowing the organization to sharpen its focus on retirement, wealth, and asset management through Nuveen, its asset management company.

Thasunda Brown Duckett’s remarkable achievements have also earned her a well-deserved place on Fortune’s 2023 Most Powerful Women in Business list.