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Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

50 Top Women in Wealth, the Regulators: Bair, Schapiro, Warren—Slideshow

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While all 50 honorees of the 50 Top Women in Wealth for 2011 deserve recognition for their accomplishments and leadership, as we have done each year since the 50 Top Women’s inception, we are taking some extra time to look at certain members of the list, this year grouped by the major roles they play in wealth management.

View the 50 Top Women in Wealth home page for more reporting and this year’s complete list of honorees. 

shelia bair


Sheila Bair, who left the FDIC on July 8, has seen the agency through good times and bad during her five years of service at the helm of the agency, with some of the most far-reaching changes in regulation coming to fruition on her watch. On July 20, the FDIC announced that Bair would be joining the Pew Charitable Trust as a senior advisor on Sept. 7.

Bair was appointed to the chair of the FDIC midway through 2006, as the boom times were still booming. The Kansas Republican was more in tune with strict-constructionist regulation than might have been expected from someone with her background. After all, her political career flourished in association with Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan.: she had been a top Republican staffer in the Senate and also acted as legal counsel to the New York Stock Exchange.

View the 50 Top Women in Wealth home page for more reporting and this year’s complete list of honorees. 

phyllis borzi


Phyllis Borzi, head of the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), says that her greatest achievement over the past year has been “developing and completing” the DOL’s fee disclosure rule that enables participants in 401(k) plans to understand the dramatic effect that fees play in their overall returns.

Borzi told AdvisorOne in an email that she has built her career on the advice her father gave her: “If I work hard, play by the rules even when others do not, treat people with respect, fairness and honesty, and be patient, I can ultimately achieve my goals.” Ironically, she continues, “that is not the way many people view the route to success in business, including in the financial services area, but it is the path I have chosen to follow in my career and it has worked for me.”

View the 50 Top Women in Wealth home page for more reporting and this year’s complete list of honorees. 

Rosie Rios


Rosa “Rosie” Gumataotao Rios may not be the first Latina to become Treasurer of the United States. Indeed, five others have held the position. Nonetheless, she is a trend-setter.

For example, the Chamorro name Gumataotao, from her husband, whose family is prominent on Guam, is part of her official signature. The Chamorro are the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands, including the American territory of Guam, and this is the first time that a Chamorro name has appeared on U.S. currency.

But Rios has been influential in more important ways, especially in her efforts to raise the level of financial literacy in the United States. To be sure, her success is hard won: she’s a first-generation Mexican-American and one of nine children raised by a single mother.

View the 50 Top Women in Wealth home page for more reporting and this year’s complete list of honorees. 

mary schapiro


One could argue that Mary Schapiro holds one of the most important—and high profile—jobs in the nation. As chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), she’s charged with the monumental task of protecting investors by policing Wall Street.

Before becoming the 29th chairman of the SEC in 2009, she was the chief executive of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA), and served as an SEC commissioner from December 1988 to October 1994.

When asked by AdvisorOne to describe what it takes to be a successful woman in the financial services arena, Schapiro said in an email July 1 that she believes that “if you love what you do, you can become very successful at it.”

View the 50 Top Women in Wealth home page for more reporting and this year’s complete list of honorees. 

elizabeth warren


Elizabeth Warren is the woman who has become simultaneously a beacon of hope for consumers and a lightning rod for criticism, particularly from banks and many legislators.

Currently structuring the form that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will take since President Barack Obama named her as its architect, with the title special advisor to the president, Warren has handled herself with strength, grace and dignity in hearings and in the press alike—if perhaps a bit too forthrightly for Washington’s taste.

That’s not to say that the Harvard Law School professor has received nothing but disparagement from political and financial leaders. On the contrary, no less a personage than U.S. Rep. Spencer Baucus, R-Ala., has praised her commitment to consumer protection.

View the 50 Top Women in Wealth home page for more reporting and this year’s complete list of honorees.


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