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American Financial Services Association

Mary McDowell

Mary McDowell

PeopleWomen's Leadership Council

Mary McDowell

Retired CEO and AFSA Board Emeritus

Mary is on the Board of Directors of Barclays Bank, US, part of a large international financial services company. She built a long, successful career in Big 4 accounting firm Ernst and Young and next held roles of increasing importance as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of various Citigroup owned companies. Mary worked ten years with Ernst & Young in Audit, Consulting and Tax in Dallas, TX and in New York City. She then became the CFO for several Fort Worth based insurance companies. Moving with her spouse to Baltimore in 1997, she ran the Finance Department for Commercial Credit for three years and returned to Texas to become CFO of CitiFinancial Mortgage and CitiFinancial Auto. From 2003 to 2016, Mary moved from financial roles to leading large groups of people in operations and executive roles as CEO of CitiFinancial Auto, COO and CEO of CitiFinancial, based in Baltimore, and CEO of OneMain Financial.

Areas of Expertise
As a former CEO, CFO and COO of large financial institutions, my expertise is broad. I am skilled in executive, operational and financial management, and building the teams and strategy to accompany.

Areas of expertise upon which I would like to continue learning.
Board governance, continued professional education

What three keywords best describe you?
Accomplished, Skilled, Genuine

Personal Motto
Always do your best and keep moving forward in a positive way. Take time to enjoy life.

What are you passionate about?
Travel, dogs, my husband, my friends

What is something interesting about you that members might not know?
I'm a former marathon runner, having completed 13 marathons and over 30 half marathons.

What are you most proud of?
My accomplishments while working and now being able to help those closest to me when they need it. Building a strong network of family and friends.

MENTORING
What would you say are the key success factors for a mentoring relationship?
Willingness of both the mentor and mentee to share past experiences and learn from each other.

What advice would you give yourself as a young executive?
Show more confidence--you got this! Keep picking yourself up when things go wrong--life will turn out fine.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started your career?
I know that talented people present in all manners of different personalities and backgrounds. The people with the bravado aren't necessarily the ones that will help build what needs to be built. Keep an open mind to possibilities.