Jane Fraser is Citigroup’s new CEO – Here’s what she studied in grad school

SOURCE: AFP PHOTO/Citigroup/Julian R. Photography
Citibank’s incoming CEO Jane Fraser has an MBA and a master’s in economics.

By U2B Staff 

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Banking executive Jane Fraser is continuing with her ascent to the top of the career ladder — Citigroup recently announced that its CEO Michael Corbat is retiring in February 2021 and that Fraser will succeed him. She has been elected to the Board of Directors, with service beginning immediately. 

This news made headlines as this would make her the first woman to helm a major US bank.

Based on her Citigroup profile, the Scottish-American has had a lot of practice in helming leadership roles in her 16-year tenure with the company. She is currently the President of Citi and the CEO of Global Consumer Banking. 


Prior to this, she was the CEO of Citi Latin America; the US Consumer and Commercial Banking and CitiMortgage; and Citi’s Global Private Bank. From 2007 to 2009, Fraser was the Global Head of Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions for Citi from 2007 to 2009. She joined Citi in 2004 in the Corporate and Investment Banking division.

It’s unsurprising why she has held on to these senior roles with an MBA and a master’s in economics under her belt.

In a press statement, outgoing CEO Michael Corbat said Citibank’s financial performance has been improving steadily and significantly during the eight years before COVID-19.

In that time, Corbat said the company has made investments in products where they saw opportunities for growth, embraced the push to digital and doubled down on their global network, making it indispensable for their clients and gained significant share across their markets and banking franchises. 


From 2012 to 2019, Citi’s net income increased from US$7 billion to nearly US$20 billion, while their Return on Tangible Common Equity increased from 5% to over 12%, closing the gap with their peers. 

“We went from returning hardly any capital to returning nearly [US]$80 billion in capital to our shareholders over the last six years,” he said. 

And it’s time for Fraser to take the company to the next level. 

Does a postgraduate degree prepare you for C-suite roles?

Can certain postgraduate degrees serve as a stepping stone for aspiring leaders to climb the higher rungs of the corporate ladder? In this instance, it’s entirely plausible that both Fraser’s education and experience will support her transition into her new role.

Like many other leaders across a range of industries, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Apple CEO Tim Cook, Fraser is also armed with an MBA, which she obtained from Harvard Business School.

Many CEOs or aspiring CEOs earn an MBA to equip themselves with a broad overview of management skills that would help them build their leadership skills, take on higher management positions and future-proof the self.


Additionally, MBA programmes can also be useful in opening new and bigger career opportunities and promotions that lead to improved remuneration and compensation.

Prior to this, Fraser also obtained an MA in economics from Cambridge University. A postgraduate degree in economics is useful for those who want to work as consultants, public policy analysts and financial managers, to name a few.

QS explains that a master’s in economics is concerned with the analysis of all the factors that can impact the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.

Their specialised knowledge in areas such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, applied econometrics and mathematical economics can prove useful in various companies, non-profits, think tanks and government agencies, be it in crafting policy and decision-making. 

After holding multiple executive positions, Fraser is also growing to become a powerful woman in business and is ranked as the 39th female chief executive on the Fortune 500 list.