Catherine P. Bessant is chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America and a member of the company's executive management team. Since 2010, Bessant has led global technology and operations (GT&O) and is responsible for delivering end-to-end technology and operating services across the company through nearly 95,000 employees and contractors in more than 35 countries.
GT&O provides the platforms and fulfillment services that enable the company's consumer banking, wealth management, commercial banking, treasury services, sales and trading and investment banking businesses, as well as risk management, finance and other critical support functions. Bessant's team also oversees the company's business continuity and information security strategies and policies.
Bessant has held a number of senior leadership roles for the company. Most recently, she was president of global corporate banking. Previously, she was president of global product solutions and global treasury services; chief marketing officer; president of consumer real estate and community development banking; national small-business segment executive and president of the Florida market. She joined the bank as a corporate banker in 1982.
Bessant represents the company on a number of important topics, including diversity and inclusion, serving as an executive sponsor for the company's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride executive board and the LGBT Ally program and executive management team sponsor of the company's disability advocacy initiatives.
Active in the community, Bessant was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for her civic and business contributions to the state of North Carolina and received the Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award from the Charlotte Business Journal. She serves as chairperson of the North Tryon Vision Plan Advisory Committee.
She serves on the board of directors of Zurich Insurance Group and Florida Blue, formerly Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. She also sits on the board of trustees for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and on the advisory board for the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Bessant is ranked No. 1 on Institutional Investor magazine's annual Tech 50 list of financial technology leaders recognized for their achievements and innovation, and No. 3 among American Banker's "25 Most Powerful Women in Banking." She is also included on Working Mother magazine's "50 Most Powerful Working Moms" list of 2017.