Most Powerful Women in Finance: No. 9, Candace Browning, Bank of America – American Banker

Written by Amanda

Most Powerful Women in Finance: No. 9, Candace Browning, Bank of America  American Banker


Candace Browning, long a leading voice in investment research, added a notable area to the stable of sectors her team covers: digital assets. A  research report,  Digital Assets Primer: Only the First Inning, formally launched the bank’s digital asset research practice last October.

The initiative might seem ill-timed given the “crypto winter” that tarnished the luster of assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but Browning, the head of global research at Bank of America, stands firm on the decision.”We did it in response to retail investor interest, not institutional investor interest,” she said. The sector is currently valued at $1.1 trillion.

Browning, who said she tries to come up with something new every year for her team to research, helped make an early call on supply chain stresses. Over the last year, her group built Bank of America Global Proprietary Signals, a collection of 75 regularly published, proprietary indicators that reflect their insights. These catalog a range of signals across various economies, strategies, markets, assets, and classes, working to provide anticipatory ideas.

Browning also emphasizes research into environmental, social, and governance (ESG), the future of work, and diversity and inclusion. Her team’s reports on these areas are well read, averaging 1,700 clicks annually. 

Browning is particularly interested in diversity and inclusion in both research about other companies and her department’s recruitment and hiring practices. “We want our workforce to represent the U.S. workforce, in terms of the number of women employed within the research department,” she said. “We want people of color, too. I’d like our workforce to be diverse in all the ways it can be diverse, because we think it’s good business.”

That’s a challenge, Browning said, because the pool of people who are interested in research as a career tends to skew male and white. She has brought back women who had previously left Bank of America, and has recruited research candidates from other bank departments. “The number one thing we’re looking for in an analyst is intellectual curiosity, and you can find that in a lot of places,” she said. 

An important thing she’s learned in her career is that, as a leader, she is responsible for the success of everything in her business unit. “I learned that from a failed tech project at an earlier job, and I take it seriously,” she said. As a result, while she said that she’s not a micromanager, she does ask a lot of questions, and if she thinks there might be a problem, she digs deeply into the situation. 

Browning brings a strong dose of her own intellectual curiosity to this and every other part of her job. “One of the things I love about my job is that I learn things every day and every week,” she said. “I’m constantly learning, and that’s a big motivating force and source of enthusiasm.”

Browning serves as the Vice Chair of Bank of America Institute, a think tank she helped found. The Institute provides thought leadership and insights related to three core areas: the economy; environmental, social, and governance; and industry transformation. 

An avid conservationist, she sits on the board of the Dutchess Land Conservancy, a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to preserving the rural character and resources of Dutchess County, New York, and on the board of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, a world-renowned science, conservation, and advocacy organization that works to restore wild Atlantic salmon and their supporting ecosystems.

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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