TIAA Names JPMorgan’s Thasunda Brown Duckett as CEO

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America has named Thasunda Brown Duckett as president and chief executive, tapping a powerful consumer banker and one of Wall Street’s most prominent African American executives.

As CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, Ms. Duckett oversees a sprawling network of 4,900 branches, more than $600 billion in deposits and 40,000 employees. She led Chase’s first retail-branch expansion in a decade, extended its digital offerings and pushed the bank to help improve customers’ financial literacy. Ms. Duckett has also been a leading voice among bankers in the need to close the wealth gap between white and Black Americans.

The 47-years-old executive will succeed Roger Ferguson, who announced his retirement from TIAA in November after a 13-year run as CEO. Mr. Ferguson will remain in his role until Ms. Duckett joins the firm on May 1, TIAA said Thursday.

Ms. Duckett is leaving consumer-banking for a part of the financial world that is confronting many of the same challenges, albeit at a different stage. Technology and evolving customer tastes have driven down the costs of investing, squeezing money managers’ margins and forcing firms to consider mergers that give them the scale to compete. The U.S. banking industry’s consolidation wave began decades ago, leaving JPMorgan as one of a handful of systematically important lenders.

“I am extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to lead a company that has helped millions of people retire with ‘enough’ to live in dignity and excited about the opportunity to help TIAA chart its next 100 years,” Ms. Duckett said in a statement.

JPMorgan’s consumer- and community-banking division, which includes Ms. Duckett’s business, earned $4.33 billion in the fourth quarter on $12.73 billion in revenue. Ms. Duckett joined the bank’s operating committee in September, becoming the first Black executive to sit on the bank’s top leadership group. She previously served as chief executive of Chase’s auto-finance arm, and before that worked at the bank’s mortgage business.

“She is an outstanding leader and role model, and we will miss her,” said Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chairman and CEO, in a statement.

In a memo to staff, JPMorgan co-president Gordon Smith said Thursday that the bank would announce Ms. Duckett’s successor as consumer-banking chief shortly.

Under Mr. Ferguson’s direction, TIAA expanded beyond its own core business of managing retirement accounts for employees at colleges, healthcare systems and nonprofits. He engineered the firm’s 2014 acquisition of Nuveen Investments, which broadened TIAA’s investment offerings and beefed up a distribution network that sells those products through pension funds and other institutions. He also expanded the firm’s traditional banking business.

A former vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Mr. Ferguson, 69 years old, emerged after last year’s presidential election as a contender for a cabinet post in the Biden administration. He will serve as an adviser to TIAA following Ms. Duckett’s arrival, the firm said.