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Krawcheck Guides 85 Broads Into Investments

BY: WILLIAM ALDEN

Sallie L. Krawcheck, a former big bank executive, has emerged as a prominent advocate for Wall Street women in recent weeks, after buying the women’s network 85 Broads in May. But it remained unclear what Ms. Krawcheck was planning to do with the organization.

The answer came into focus on Wednesday, when 85 Broads announced the appointment of a new president, Allyson McDonald, a consultant on investing and philanthropy. The announcement seemed to suggest that 85 Broads would develop a way to invest capital in enterprises owned or led by women.

“I am thrilled to help move the worldwide conversation around investing in women from dialogue to real action!” Ms. McDonald said in a statement.

Ms. Krawcheck, in a statement, noted Ms. McDonald’s “great energy and a passion for women-owned and women-led businesses.”

After buying 85 Broads from its founder, Janet Hanson, Ms. Krawcheck has had a busy schedule, appearing at the 92nd Street Yin Manhattan and a cocktail party for 85 Broads last week. Next week, she is scheduled to be in London for a “power circle dinner,” according to the Web site of 85 Broads, which is named afterGoldman Sachs‘s former address on Broad Street.

Ms. Krawcheck is embracing the limelight after initially keeping a relatively low profile since leaving her job as head of Bank of America’s wealth management division during a management shake-up in 2011. She has become involved in the online broker Motif Investing and built followings on Twitter and LinkedIn.

In conversations with the members of 85 Broads, Ms. Krawcheck has been considering the possibility of establishing an investment fund, she said in an interview last week after the 92nd Street Y event. She explained her thinking during the panel discussion.

“When women start businesses, they are successful more often than men’s businesses are,” Ms. Krawcheck said on stage at the 92nd Street Y event. “And yet, the venture capital funding goes to women much less than it goes to men.”

“What is keeping the capital from finding its way to where those returns are?” she asked.

Ms. McDonald, the newly appointed president of 85 Broads, has experience at Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments and New York Life, according to Wednesday’s announcement. She has held senior roles at Fidelity Charitable and the Clinton Foundation, and she currently runs her own consultancy.

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