Episode 88 – Kelly Coffey

‘We will have the Roaring ’20s.’ One of banking’s most powerful women weighs in on economy’s future
By LA Stories Staff El Segundo
PUBLISHED 5:00 AM PT May. 10, 2021

Prior to becoming the first female CEO of City National Bank, Kelly Coffey had no intention of moving to Los Angeles.

Coffey was living in New York City and had been working at J.P. Morgan for 20 years. It was former City National Bank CEO Russell Goldsmith who changed her mind.

On the latest episode of “LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez,” Coffey explains how after listening to Goldsmith talk about the bank for a year, she realized it was a special place to work — and with that, she made the move across the U.S. in order to take the top position. Known as the “bank to the stars,” City National Bank has a rich history of working with the entertainment industry.

Be sure to catch Coffey’s full conversation with Fernandez in the new episode of our podcast “LA Stories Unfiltered” here:
Hear much more: The unfiltered, in-depth interview with Kelly Coffey

In 1963, CNB famously helped Frank Sinatra with ransom money when his son was kidnapped.

“And from that day on, he told every single person in entertainment, ‘You have to do business with City National,'” said Coffey.

As a young girl, Coffey would go to work with her grandfather, who ran a small community bank in her hometown in Pennsylvania. She was influenced by his hardworking attitude and eventually followed in his footsteps.

Coffey credits her large Irish-Italian family for giving her the strength she needed in a male-dominated industry.

“In my family, you could do whatever you wanted to do,” Coffey said. “And I think that gave me the confidence to know that I could.”
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Coffey also gives Fernandez her thoughts on the current financial situation in the U.S. surrounding the pandemic. She points out how unprecedented the crisis has been, given how it’s much more personal: Not only did we experience a financial crisis, but a health one as well.

Still, Coffey remains optimistic. While it may take longer, she believes the Biden administration is focused on getting us back on the right track.

“We will have the Roaring ’20s… mid to late year,” she said. “I’m very optimistic and very, very hopeful.”


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