Most Powerful Women in Finance: Thasunda Brown Duckett

In the time that Thasunda Brown Duckett was appointed to the helm at TIAA on May 20, 2021, she maintained to tenure in the industry’s most influential and known African American women.

Duckett was in charge for the beginning during the year working as chief executive officer of Chase Consumer Banking, a post she held for more than five years. She was the head of the business unit that had more than $600 billion of deposits with over 40,000 workers and close to 55,000 branches. She launched Chase’s five-year strategy to open 400 branches in the new areas all over the U.S.

In TIAA, Duckett is in charge of a company that has around $1.4 trillion of assets under management and offering which include banking, investment and retirement services.

The move to TIAA offered her a new opportunity to think about how to increase the financial inclusion of anyone, no matter what their income. Duckett was raised in Texas and was the child of parents whose efforts to feed their family didn’t always go far enough. Her father was employed in a warehouse as well as truck driver, putting in so hard to provide for his household that he was not enough money to fund his retirement. Even worse, his employer may be unable to make him aware of the chance to save for his retirement years.

“When I was in college, it really frustrated me that he had access to a 401(k) plan that he never participated in,” Thasunda Brown Duckett explained.

To ensure that TIAA is truly communicating with its customers, Duckett is emphasizing the business’s mission to promote financial inclusion and opportunities -goals she has fought for through her entire career. She has increased the firm’s focus on qualified default investment accounts (QDIA) an default investment option that occurs by employees who contribute money towards a retirement savings program however, they don’t make an investment choice. A QDIA helps to put savings into work even when the account owner doesn’t make investments, thereby providing them with an increase in income when they retire.

Duckett has been working hard to create TIAA more prominent, taking part in 154 external and internal events to discuss the importance of having a secure retirement income as well as leadership ESG investment, as well as offering TIAA customers the entire benefits of the company.

Retirement accounts will only flourish when investments are successful and Duckett has proven herself in this regard as well. TIAA is among just three U.S. insurance companies to be awarded the highest rating from four of the major insurance rating agencies. The company achieved an operating margin that was record-breaking as well as every revenue category was more than anticipated and its assets under management close to $1.6 trillion. Nuveen, the TIAA’s investment unit, posted record highs in operating margins, revenues as well as return on capital net flows and dividends distributed in dividends to TIAA members.

An executive people of color, Duckett is invested in helping communities of color to close achievement gaps in the creation of wealth in education, career outcomes and achievement. She has a keen interest in equity, diversity and inclusion, which includes antiracism initiatives.

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