NEW YORK — The New York chapter of Women in Direct Marketing International honored Citigroup's Lisa Caputo as Woman of the Year last evening at the Yale Club.
Caputo is president/CEO of Women and Company, a division of Citigroup Inc. that focuses on women's financial concerns. Its members account for more than $10 billion in assets at Citigroup. Caputo also serves as senior managing director of the company's Global Consumer Group.
Before joining Citigroup, Caputo was vice president at Disney Publishing and CBS Corp. She also served as deputy assistant to the president of the United States and press secretary to Hillary Rodham Clinton. In accepting her award, Caputo discussed how she ended up at Citigroup.
“The multitude of investigations of the Clinton White House I think forced self-examination,” she said. “I was pulled into all of the investigations. I had to hire a criminal lawyer at the age of 28. I left the White House with a six-figure legal debt because of all the investigations. … But it forced a lot of self-introspection that made me see the forest from the trees and say to myself, 'Yes, this is a heady game, but this is not the way you want to lead your life.'”
It was at this time that Caputo realized what she really wanted to do: come to New York and run a business. She also credited “the foresight of Citigroup and Sandy Weill and Chuck Prince [Prince is CEO of Citigroup and Weill is his predecessor], who had the insight to see that women were an underserved market in the financial services industry.”
Paula Kelley, senior vice president of strategic delivery at Citi Cards, delivered the keynote address. In her introduction, Kelley discussed how Caputo manages to accomplish everything she does.
“It's partly due to the speed with which she works, which is apparently very fast, her ability to juggle many things … and make it look easy, her ability to turn ideas into action and to get things done, and finally, her ability to slow down and to really listen.”
Winners, selected by the WDMI/NY board of directors, need at least 10 years experience in direct marketing and made significant business and personal contributions to the industry.