It’s safe to say that Patricia Pacheco de Baez has had a firecracker of a year.
In early 2021, the Bank of America executive was promoted to managing director, and then she was appointed to cochair of the institution’s Hispanic-Latino Executive Council (HLEC), which encompasses the bank’s most senior Latino executives. HLEC executives work together to push forward the agenda of Latino causes.
Then, just a few months after her promotion to managing director, Pacheco took on a new role as Private Bank NY Metro market leader – chief operating officer and diverse segment champion at Bank of America. In this role, she is responsible for driving efficiency in sales and operation practices as well as driving diverse segments’ strategies.
These three accomplishments are immensely satisfying to Pacheco, on many levels.
“When I was promoted to managing director, the promotion meant the payout of so much sacrifice, hard work and support from sponsors and mentors of many years,” she said. “But it also served as an opportunity to become a role model that I rarely saw in my industry, as not only are there few female managing directors, there are even fewer Latinas in corporate investment banking. Now moving to the Private Bank NY Metro executive team, allows me the opportunity to merge both of my passions, adding value to our clients by developing personalized solutions that address our clients’ needs and driving the diverse business segments strategies to make a positive impact in our local communities.”
Like so many professionals, Pacheco saw her industry completely upended by the pandemic. Bank of America was forced to undergo drastic changes that transformed the way business is done, and digital transformation remains a top priority.
“When our clients were not able to come into the bank, they relied on our digital capabilities to continue life as they needed,” Pacheco explained. “Since the beginning of July, more than 70 percent of Bank of America’s customers were actively using digital tools for at least one of their needs, including 72 percent of consumer and small business clients, 80 percent of wealth management clients, and 75 percent of global banking clients. Digital deposits now account for 85 percent of transactions, and [accounted for] forty-eight million checks in Q2 alone.”
Of course, like many executives, Pacheco’s personal life was also changed by COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, she was on a plane three to four times a week—but that came to an abrupt halt. The happy result: she has been able to spend more time with her husband and daughter.
“This past year, I realized how time was passing so fast and the importance of being present, to enjoy our family to the fullest and to be grateful for our blessings,” she said. “The pandemic has forced all of us to reflect on what really matters in life and balance our work/life, which I think is a positive outcome.”
In the past year, Pacheco has also reflected a great deal on the way the pandemic has affected communities of color and brought visibility to large-scale inequalities. This left her with a sense of urgency to help in any way she can.
“I thought about the changes I want to see in this world [and] performed a deep dive on what I can do today to make the changes I want to see become a reality. I asked myself, ‘What can I do from this role as a banker? What actions can I influence?’ As we slowed down, one thing became very clear: it is up to me, up to every single one of us to make a difference.”
To that end, Pacheco has set a goal for her new role as Private Bank NY Metro market leader – COO and diverse segment champion: she wants to deepen the connection between her professional life—her experience working with teams and driving strategies and growth for clients—with her passion for driving inclusive and thoughtful leadership for the community.
“This year is about leading with passion to drive financial empowerment for generations to come in the communities that we serve,” she said.
Bank of America itself is leading with a renewed focus on impact, Pacheco said, particularly on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investing.
“Bank of America recently committed $1.5 trillion through 2030 to sustainable environment and social business efforts; tripled its commitment to funding affordable housing projects to $15 billion through 2025; and made a $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity in local communities with capital for jobs initiatives, support for housing and healthcare, and more than $350 million focused on minority entrepreneurs,” she said. “The bank is focused on deploying capital at a scale that can change communities and is sharing its success by providing opportunities.”
The hard work isn’t yet done, Pacheco acknowledged, but she and Bank of America are ready to continue the effort for years to come.