Christa Steele is a results driven leader with a customer centric mindset aware of the emerging mega trends facing business industry today. She is an experienced CEO and Director serving as a board member of for-profit public, private, ESOP and family-owned B2B and B2C companies across varying industry verticals. Since 2013, professional board service has included eight public and private for profit company boards - including serving as Chair of Audit and Compensation committees to the financial services, insurance, wealth management, investment banking, neural technology, artificial intelligence, transportation, equipment leasing, security, real estate, waste collection, food and agricultural industries operating in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Italy, France, India, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Puerto Rico & U.S. Virgin Islands.
Two successful business exits commanding premiums to market as a CEO and as Partner and Board Director; Four years of direct involvement in Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technology integration initiatives; Twenty years of leadership experience as CEO and other senior level positions; leading business transformation with direct P&L oversight.
Technology disruption, business disintermediation, strategic planning, corporate strategy, regulation, ESG, M&A, organic growth, employee development, efficiency improvement, audit and risk management oversight, balance sheet management, capital markets, shareholder and key stakeholder engagement.
Partner and CEO Operating Background
Until recently, Steele was a partner and board member of FIG Partners, a highly successful investment bank focused on M&A, Capital Markets, Fixed Income Asset Management, and IPO’s with ten locations across the United States. In April 2019, FIG Partners was acquired by Janney Montgomery Scott.
Prior, Steele spent two decades in the financial services industry serving retail, wealth management and commercial clientele. Most notably, during her tenure, she led Mechanics Bank, a $3.5 Billion asset size bank located in the Bay Area of CA. As former CEO, with direct P&L responsibility of a company with $500 million in market cap, Steele led a significant financial turnaround resulting in core earnings 43% in a single calendar year, doubled the banks’ value in less than two years, and successfully led its sale for a premium in 2015.
Steele is an authority figure on artificial intelligence, 5G, IoT, blockchain, and machine learning; digital disruption to the boardroom. She is nationally recognized as a speaker and thought leader by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Women Corporate Directors (WCD), Directors Forum, Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). Steele is often interviewed by news outlets such as Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Financial Times (FT), American Bankers Association (ABA) and Bank Director. Examples include Consumer Electronics Show (CES), FT Agenda Webcast, and The WSJ Artificial Intelligence Pro Conference, Institute of Internal Auditors OnRisk 2020 and Corporate Governance Survey and NACD Blockchain Webinar.
Steele was featured on the cover of the Private Company Directors Magazine in March/April 2020 edition. Steele was also featured in the cover article for the March/April 2020 NACD Magazine edition. She was recognized by Private Company Director Magazine in 2019 as a Top 50 North America "Directors to Watch" and received previous recognition by the San Francisco Business Times as "Most Influential Leader in Bay Area Business" and by Crowe Horwath for driving significant financial performance improvement in 2015.
Steele qualifies as a financial expert, is a NACD Board Leadership Fellow, holds an MBA from University of Southern CA (USC) and an undergraduate degree from California State University Sacramento (CSUS).