Two Indian Americans named as “Most Powerful Women in Banking”

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Nandita Bakshi

Indian American Bankers Nandita Bakhshi and Ranjana Clark are among the most powerful women in banking in the country.

On Sept. 25, American Banker announced its 15th annual ranking of the Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance, putting Bakhshi at the number four position and Clark at the 19th position in a 25-person list.

According to her profile on American Banker, Bakhshi is the president and chief executive officer of Bank of the West as well as the co-CEO at BNP Paribas USA.

She left TD Bank last year and when she arrived at Bank of the West, she went on a listening tour across the San Francisco-based lender’s 23-state footprint.

Bakhshi is a 30-year veteran in the banking industry with extensive experience in retail banking and payments and has also launched a virtual office, known as Nandita’s Corner, managing 10,000 employees.

She has helped Bank of the West to launch a new logo and has reduced the number of days it takes for the bank to close a mortgage by 10 percent.

“When you get to the position where you are hiring and training people don’t settle. Make sure you recruit first-rate talent and it will improve your whole organization,” said Bakhshi, who began her career as a part-time teller in India.

Ranjana Clark

According to her profile on American Banker, Clark is the head of transaction banking for the Americas and San Francisco Bay Area and president of MUFG Union Bank.

She is a 34-year veteran of the financial industry who had done stints at PayPal, Western Union, Wachovia and Deutsche Bank in Mumbai, India before joining MUFG Union in 2013.

After her arrival, MUFG Americas participated in a $10.5 million investment in Coinbase, the electronic wallet and trading platform for digital currencies and recently Coinbase was valued at $1.6 billion.

Before she arrived at MUFG Americas, she spent 20 years with Wells Fargo and its predecessor companies, where she held a number of senior management positions including Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.

Today, Clark is particularly excited about the new possibilities that artificial intelligence is presenting to the financial services industry.

“Clients are seeking more of a self-service model to access information and perform operations,” she said.

The American Banker mentions that last year, Clark became one of the first two women globally to become an executive officer at the Tokyo-based parent company.

Clark earned an MBA in Finance from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, an MBA in Marketing from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delhi.

She has held Certified Treasury Professional and Series 7, 8, 24 and 63 securities licenses.