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2. Gail Kelly
2. Gail Kelly
Managing director and CEO
2009 rank: 2
Country: Australia

Kelly, 54, is the reason Westpac is among the top ten safest banks in the world, with a coveted AA bond rating amid a financial meltdown. She is also lauded for consolidating Westpac Institutional Bank as number one in Australasia. Her reward: a compensation of $6.8 million in 2009.

Revenues at Westpac were up 6% to $31.2 billion in 2009. Profits fell by 11% to $3 billion, as margins got hit by bad debts. But the bank bounced back in the first six months of its fiscal year, with net profits up 32% to $2.6 billion, with strong revenue growth and a drop in bad loans.

NEXT: 3. Marjorie Scardino

Last updated September 29 2010: 6:20 AM ET
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