Women in the COO Community

Promoting the cause of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Our diversity, equity and inclusion programme strives to support the underrepresented by leveraging the influence and good will of the female global COO community.

Armstrong Wolfe’s Women in the COO Community (WCOOC) initiative has been running since 2017. Now well-established in New York, London, Hong Kong and Singapore, (soon in Toronto) we have members from over thirty different organisations.

Our commitment to this initiative was born out of the privileged position we have in accessing the COO community through our global forums.

Led by Armstrong Wolfe, a series of cross-industry forums and leadership evenings will take place throughout 2022.


Goals of WCOOC:


Inspiring Women

To inspire women in Financial Services to have no limit to their aspirations.


Educate Women

To educate women on business management and the COO role as career destinations.


Networking Opportunities

To establish exclusive and confidential networking opportunities with peers.


Address Common Challenges

To enable a cross-industry business dialogue to address common challenges.

Newly Appointed WCOOC Ambassador - Rich Evans, Head of Prime, CEX.IO

“The role of the COO has been my most challenging and at the same time most rewarding of my career to date. Being an ambassador for  Women in the COO Community allows me to support others and share my experiences in what is an often misunderstood role with few experienced resources to lean on.”

– Rich Evans

Newly Appointed WCOOC Ambassador - Fatema Bookwala, Managing Director, COO Markets and Securities Services, Singapore, HSBC

“I have found WCOOC as a great platform that provides COOs with an opportunity to network, learn, contribute and stay engaged on very relevant topics.”

– Fatema Bookwala

Newly Appointed WCOOC Ambassador - Kimberly Ong, Executive Director, JP Morgan Asset Management

“The COO role covers a wide range of responsibilities and a unique set of challenges. It is so important and invaluable to have a community like WCOOC that supports us to deliver and develop both professionally and personally.”

– Kimberly Ong

Newly Appointed WCOOC Ambassador - Wade Younger, Managing Partner, Armstrong Wolfe Advisory and WCOOC Ambassador

“I am delighted to be joining Women in the COO Community (WCOOC) as an ambassador. While there is still a shortage of women in the COO space, WCOOC proves everyday that they are more than prepared to address the challenges facing all industries today. I had to get behind this initiative, to champion and promote this talent pool. It has been my pleasure to speak to and work with members of WCOOC. I always walk away with more insight than I came with.”

– Wade Younger

Newly Appointed WCOOC Steering Group Committee Member - Sietske Kalse, Managing Director, COO and Head of Business Development, Citi

“Being equally able and allowed to develop ones full potential in the workplace should not be a topic of discussion anymore in this day and age. Unfortunately it still is. Creating and supporting avenues that enable the right environment to ensure everyone has access to equal opportunities remains urgent and important. As a woman with a career in Finance, I know it is not a given for everyone to break or confront barriers in adverse environments. I have seen firsthand how WCOOC is paving the way and supporting talented women in our industry across all walks of life. I am extremely honored and proud to be able to contribute as a steering Committee Member.”

– Sietske Kalse

Newly Appointed WCOOC Ambassadors - Helen Hughes-Green, Managing Director, ICG Conduct at Citi
‘I refuse to believe that women do not have the potential to achieve success at the highest levels of business given their proven academic achievements and business contributions and yet, we continue to see the gender gap persisting. Our customers, shareholders and communities are being failed because businesses are not tapping into the full, representative talent pool available to them, being unconsciously (or consciously) trapped by biases and held back by the legacy overhang of accepted practices. I’ve been an active member of the Armstrong Wolfe WCOOC for a number of years and love how it brings individuals together, agnostic of organisation and geography, to collaborate, challenge accepted norms and share best practice with the common aim of improving diversity and inclusion and, in doing so, improving the outcomes for our clients, our shareholders and our communities as a whole. I am very grateful for the opportunity to contribute more actively as a WCOOC Ambassador moving forward’
Newly Appointed WCOOC Ambassadors - Alexandra Stanton, Corporate Culture Consultant, Lawyer & NED, Former Co-Head of Global Markets Conduct EMEA, Formerly BNP Paribas

I am a firm believer that truly inclusive cultures drive better business outcomes and enable everyone to realise their full potential.  It is encouraging that the most egregious behaviours of past decades can now at least be reported and taken seriously rather than the complaints being shut down.  But significant disparities and inequalities persist.  Diversity shouldn’t be about tokenism and diversity on its own is not enough.  Inclusion is critical to ensure that different perspectives are taken into consideration. There is notable benefit, not least from a risk management perspective, in seeking cognitive diversity from staff with different life experiences and to encourage decision making which takes into account a variety of different viewpoints.  This is especially important in a rapidly changing world where sophisticated solutions are needed to tackle ever more nuanced issues. 

 So many members of the flourishing Armstrong Wolfe community are aware of the benefits of inclusion but also of the challenges any firm faces when implementing measures to achieve inclusive cultures. I am honoured and delighted to have been asked to become an WCOOC Ambassador and look forward to working actively with WCOOC to help drive meaningful change.

Newly Appointed WCOOC Ambassadors - Ronald Taylor, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, US Natixis IM

“A rising tide lifts all boats. The work that Gwen C Wilcox and others are doing with WCOOC is critically important to ensuring that women and underrepresented individuals in financial services have an opportunity to contribute to the success of corporations in meaningful ways. I have dedicated over 20 years to this work and welcome the chance to partner with WCOOC as an ambassador to make a difference.”

 – Ronald Taylor


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The Do’s and Don’ts of Inclusive Leadership for Corporate Success

Latest WCOOC Past Events Content

Content from most recent WCOOC events can be found below, follow the link for more.

Driving WCOOC Forward

Gwen Wilcox

COO, Armstrong Wolfe and Global Lead, WCOOC

Learn more

WCOOC Steering Committee

Steering Committee from global banks supporting WCOOC and its Dnl initiatives

Pascale Moreau

Global COO of Markets, Business, Transformation and Oversight, Societe Generale

Penny Tunbridge

Head of Chairman’s Office, Credit Suisse

Sietske Kalse

Managing Director, COO and Head of Business Development, Citi

Suzy White

Global COO Markets & Securities Services, HSBC

Gordon Grant

Global Head of Futures, Clearing and FX Prime Brokerage Operations, Citi

John Currie

Vice President and Head Global Wholesale Operations Asia Pacific, Singapore, Scotiabank

WCOOC Ambassadors

Erica Benjamin

Global Head of Wealth Operations, Bank of Montreal (New York)

Kimberly Ong

EMEA and Asia COO Asset Management Solutions, J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Jason Brus

Global Chief of Staff, Equities, Nomura (New York)

Rich Evans

Head of Prime, CEX.IO (London)

Helen Hughes-Green

Managing Director, Citi ICG Business Controls (London)

Piers Murray

Managing Partner, AWA (New York)

Joe Norena

COO, Builder ai (New York)

Fatema Bookwala

Managing Director, COO Markets and Securities Services, HSBC (Singapore)

David Ornstein

COO, Baton Systems (New York)

Alexandra Stanton

AVS Corporate Culture Consultancy (London)

Ronald Taylor

US Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Natixis AM (New York)

Wade Younger

Managing Partner (USA)

David Sharratt

COO Asia, Commerzbank

Career Coaches

Kate Hutchins

UK Practice Head, Career Management

Learn more

Miia Lankinen

WCOOC Head & Career Management, Asia

Learn more

Cressida Hamilton

Executive Coach to the COO Community

Learn more

Armstrong Wolfe are proud signatories of the Women in Finance Charter.

Despite being called ‘Women in the COO Community’, our mission is to promote all talent regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic background to leadership positions, and we are appreciative of the fact that best practice and true change must be a holistic effort and involve all members of the community. To improve D&I in the workplace, we have a strong board of ambassadors who contribute to our purpose of providing opportunities and the cause of leadership for all women and underrepresented groups across financial services.

Our career coaches and ambassadors consist of males and females (45% female, 55% male) to help accelerate this change across the wider Financial Services industry.

Armstrong Wolfe’s senior management is 33% female, with the WCOOC management (Armstrong Wolfe employees) being 100% female.

iCOOC Membership

Our membership is one degree of separation from the executive. They are the ambassadors of conduct and the ‘COO’ a trademark for innovation, execution and ethical behaviour. They are uniquely positioned to transform financial services, add value to the society of nations and support the global economy.

​iCOOC’s mission is to help them meet this challenge by working better together to build a brighter future for all.

We are inviting you to join the Armstrong Wolfe COO Community.

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