Most Powerful Women to Watch: No. 17, TD Bank’s Marla Willner – American Banker

Written by Amanda

Most Powerful Women to Watch: No. 17, TD Bank’s Marla Willner  American Banker

Head of AMCB Commercial Credit Management and Strategic Initiatives

While the pandemic took the world apart, Marla Willner was putting things together — specifically two business units that she helped merge at TD Bank.

Now the corporate and specialty banking division she ran has combined with the commercial bank, reaping efficiencies, and Willner is in charge of overseeing TD’s $140 billion commercial portfolio.

The New York City-based executive supervises some 900 employees on the specialty, community, wealth, auto financing and small-business credit management teams and runs several other initiatives, including the bank’s transition away from the London interbank offered rate this year.

A Manhattan native, Willner received her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan and her master’s from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. After holding several junior positions on Wall Street, she moved into increasingly senior roles in corporate finance and credit at Toronto-based TD Bank before moving to Brightwood Capital, in 2015, where she headed investments for the fund.


Over the past year, as the group’s treasurer, Willner helped the bank apply for a PPP loan and dealt with the aftermath of a fire at the organization’s downtown New York City headquarters.

Willner returned to TD in 2018 to become head of corporate and specialty banking. She was named to her current position at the beginning of 2021, reporting to CEO Greg Braca, and sits on the bank’s management committee.

Willner spent the past year working on how to get credit to strapped businesses fighting the pandemic. One highlight, she said, was setting up 40 liquidity facilities — a total of $4 billion in lending capacity — for health care borrowers in two months.

She also finds inspiration in her volunteer work. While on garden leave three years ago, Willner joined the board of the nonprofit Women’s Prison Association, which assists female inmates and their families.

Over the past year, as the group’s treasurer, she helped apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan and dealt with the aftermath of a fire at the organization’s downtown New York City headquarters, which houses a shelter.

She also served on the search committee for a new executive director — an experience that taught her some lessons she’s brought back to TD.

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In particular, she said, the search firm hired to find the new director led the board in diversity training that opened her eyes to how to make hiring more inclusive. The recruiters had the board members use the same questions for each candidate and showed Willner and her board colleagues how to use standardized language to describe each one’s strengths and weaknesses.
That experience has her thinking harder about the power of listening and the importance of hiring policy in assembling a diverse workforce, she said.

Source: americanbanker.com

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Hi there, I am Amanda and I work as an editor at impactinvesting.ai;  if you are interested in my services, please reach me at amanda.impactinvesting.ai

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