Search past winners/finalists

Bank Leumi - Rakefet Russak-Aminoach

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 American Business Awards

Company: Bank Leumi, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Entry Submitted By: Intermarket Communications
Company Description: Bank Leumi le-Israel B.M. is the parent company to the Leumi Group, one of Israel's largest banking groups which began its activities more than 114 years ago. Leumi, with its 12,500 employees, is involved in a variety of banking, financial and non-banking activities, both in Israel and overseas. Leumi has repeatedly received accolades for its leadership, technology initiatives and bank services.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year – Consumer Services –More Than 2,500 Employees

Nomination Title: Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, President and CEO

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words): TEXT REDACTED FOR PUBLICATION

Rakefet Russak-Aminoach’s leadership, forward-thinking approach and continued efforts to run a proficient, technologically-advanced global business make her an excellent candidate for Female Executive of the Year. As President and CEO of Leumi Group, Russak-Aminoach stands among an elite group of women who are paving the way forward in Israel’s financial industry. Since she was appointed CEO in 2012, the Bank has experienced operational improvement and continuous growth. Recent financial statements show Leumi had an 87% increase in net profit for 2Q16 compared to 2Q15, while total assets of the Bank increased by 10.8% during this period. Steered by Russak-Aminoach's digital vision and her passion for technology, Leumi Group has accomplished a number of important initiatives in 2015-2016, including:

• Developing and enhancing Leumi's digital banking platform to provide customers with more accessible banking services based on cutting-edge technology. 'Leumi Digital' offers the most advanced and innovative online banking services available in Israel, some of which were exclusively developed by Leumi. These include: 'Mobile Check Deposit, 'Cash Withdrawal by Mobile,' 'Facebook Money Transfer' and the 'Digital Check' services. Russak-Aminoach also established a Digital Banking Division in early 2016, the first of its kind in Israeli banking. The division is responsible for leading and implementing digital strategy across all business lines of the Group.

• Implementing cloud computing technology via U.S. Salesforce's CRM platform. Leumi was the first financial organization in Israel to adopt this platform, opening the door to cloud-based solutions in the Israeli financial sector. This process saved the Bank approximately 20% on fixed computerization and development costs, while simplifying business processes and significantly improving the customer interface.

• Spearheading a new concept in digital banking for millennials: 'Pepper.'  Pepper is Israel's first fully-mobile bank and is expected to transform the face of Israeli banking and become a game changer in digital banking globally. Rather than outsource to one of the many blooming fintech companies in Israel, known as the ‘Start-up Nation,' Russak-Aminoach deliberately created a self-disruption by recruiting dozens of developers and technology experts in order to set up an in-house start-up from scratch. Pepper will be one of few digital banks worldwide that will allow customers to access their account and manage all of their banking activities via smartphone only, with no checking account fees.

Awards and Accolades:

• Russak-Aminoach was ranked in Fortune Magazine’s “The World's 100 Most Powerful Women” list for 2015, ranking 23rd in the EMEA region.

• Russak-Aminoach was selected as one of the "Ten Most Innovative CEO's in Banking in 2015" by US fintech blog Bank Innovation.
• World Finance Magazine selected Leumi as the “Best Bank in Israel” in late 2015, for the 5th year in a row.

CSR and Charity Work:

• Russak-Aminoach serves as Head of the Association of Friends of the “Follow Me!” NGO, a non-profit organization that develops leadership and promotes social involvement among underprivileged youths from peripheral areas, developing towns and shelters across Israel.

• In 2016 Leumi was awarded MAALA Index’s highest rating (Platinum+) for its commitment to CSR principles. MAALA is the Israeli equivalent of BSR (Business for Social Responsibility).

Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):

Rakefet Russak-Aminoach
F Title: President and CEO, Leumi Group

Rakefet Russak-Aminoach was appointed President and CEO of Leumi Group at the age of 46. She leads a team of 12,500 employees at one of Israel’s largest and leading financial institutions with a local market share of some 30%.

Prior to her appointment, Russak-Aminoach was Senior Deputy CEO of the Group and served as Head of Leumi's Corporate Division. Under her leadership, 55% of Leumi Group’s profits were attributed to the Corporate Division. Russak-Aminoach was previously the CEO of KPMG Israel, one of Israel’s leading accounting firms.

Ms. Russak-Aminoach holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting (cum laude), a BA in Accounting and Economics (summa cum laude) and an LLB in Law, all from Tel-Aviv University.