Deborah Charles

Ethical Strategist | Management Generalist | Creative Non Fiction at Independent Consultant
On the record

Deborah Charles is the Black talent the financial services industry pretends doesn’t exist. Deborah has had orchestra seats to some of the financial services industry’s most pivotal moments. Too Big To Merge. Too Big To Fail. The Mortgage Crisis. Dodd-Frank and CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) mandates. In 1998, Deborah joined Citigroup’s eCiti division and led the go-to-market strategy for online banking, investing and aggregation (citi F/I and myciti). While there, Deborah made history as the only acquisition manager to close any sales, in a period spanning almost an two years. Deborah also introduced the two-day delivery to the market as part of the product offering for citi F/I- in one of the few times financial services had the opportunity to lead retail. (Prime would not launch until five years later.) However, as hard as she tried, the then CEO, Sandy Weill, would abandon the online banking service. Many industry pandits believe, this departure contributed to Citibank’s decline from the perch as the number one bank in the world. It was World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2002, which motivated Deborah to leave the New York area for the slower pace of the south. After a series of industry firsts at Wachovia, where Deborah served as the linchpin between digital and traditional marketing divisions, she departed shortly after the Wells Fargo merger. Deborah is a natural born advocate. Deborah’s life philosophy: Destination determines the journey. Know where you’re going! Let passion and purpose be your guide.

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