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Courtesy Forbes

Forbes on Wednesday released its annual list of the 'World's 100 Most Powerful Women," with history-making figures like Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern among those featured.

Zoom in: 13 of the women named "helm some of the world’s biggest banks and financial institutions, positions they’ve leveraged to effect change in the world," Forbes' Samantha Todd writes.

  • Jane Fraser (No. 23), president of Citi and CEO of the global consumer banking business, in February becomes the first woman to head up a major Wall Street bank.
  • Anne Finucane (No. 36), vice chairman of Bank of America, has expanded the bank's "philanthropic efforts, committing $100 million in grants to increase the accessibility of food and medical supplies ... 'As we collectively navigate this health and humanitarian crisis, we recognize that the private sector can play a pivotal role,'" Finucane said in a statement.
  • No. 40: Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO, asset management, JPMorgan Chase.
  • No. 43: Marianne Lake, CEO, consumer lending, JPMorgan Chase.
  • "Of the 13 women in finance, just one is a newcomer to the ranking: Mellody Hobson (No. 94), co-CEO of money management firm Ariel Investments."

For the 10th consecutive year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is No. 1. Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, is No. 2. Vice President-elect Harris is No. 3. Queen Elizabeth II is No. 46.

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Women take press lead in Biden era

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Women will overwhelmingly guide coverage of the White House and politics during the Biden administration, propelled by a slew of newly appointed leaders at major TV and radio networks, newspapers and digital outlets.

Why it matters: While female representation in the Washington press corps has steadily grown, what's changed most recently is the number of women in front of and behind cameras and bylines.

47 mins ago - World

COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming

Recreated from Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

South Africa alerted the world to the Omicron variant. Now data out of South Africa may serve as a warning of what we're facing.

Driving the news: South Africa recorded 11,535 new cases Thursday with 22.4% of tests coming back positive — up from an average of about 300 new cases, with a 2% test positivity rate 10 days earlier. The country's top public health officials expect that exponential rise to continue as Omicron rapidly becomes the dominant variant.

BuzzFeed to go public, after shareholders approve SPAC deal

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed is set to become publicly traded on Monday, after shareholders of a SPAC called 890 Fifth Avenue Partners voted to approve a previously-announced merger.

Yes, but: The vast majority of the money the SPAC raised in January was yanked, a signal that investors aren't very optimistic about BuzzFeed's future prospects.