December 13, 2010 — Coral Gables — A University of Miami alumna and seasoned financial services executive who has led some of the top wealth management organizations in the world will serve as interim dean of UM’s School of Business Administration.
Frances Aldrich Sevilla-Sacasa, who earned her bachelor’s degree from UM in 1977 and was most recently president of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, will serve as acting dean starting on January 16, 2011, for a six-month period, during which time UM hopes to complete a search and install a new School of Business dean to replace Barbara E. Kahn.
Kahn, dean of the business school since 2007, announced in September that she is stepping down on January 15, 2011 to return to The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where her husband serves as a faculty member.
Sevilla-Sacasa served as president of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, which serves clients with more than $3 million in investable assets, from July 1, 2007 through December 31, 2008. Previously, she was president and chief executive officer of U.S. Trust when Bank of America acquired the firm in 2007. During her tenure with U.S. Trust, Sevilla-Sacasa served on the company’s board of directors and was also a member of the Charles Schwab Corporation’s Executive Committee.
She has 30 years of experience in financial services, 25 of which are in global wealth management, having served in leadership positions with firms such as Bank of America, U.S. Trust, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and Bankers Trust Company. She has led wealth management businesses for the United States, Latin America, and Europe, in addition to a global trust business serving clients from all over the world.
“The University of Miami is delighted to welcome back one of its best and brightest. Frances Aldrich Sevilla-Sacasa is not only a leader in the rapidly evolving business landscape, she’s familiar with the business school’s regional and international mission as well,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala.
“Frances comes to the University with an extensive background in the global financial industry and as a leader in international business,” added UM Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc. “During this time of transition, her experience and commitment to excellence will keep the school’s progress into the ranks of top academic programs on track.”
Born and raised in Miami, Sevilla-Sacasa said she is “excited to come back” to her alma mater. “I’ve always considered Miami my home,” she said, “and I’m very impressed with the way the city has grown. I have referred to it as a renaissance destination, and UM plays an integral part in its development. I view this opportunity as a real privilege to serve.”
During her six months as acting dean, Sevilla-Sacasa said she hopes to maintain the school’s solid foundation, execute its strategy, provide ongoing stability, and help move current initiatives forward while the dean’s search continues. “I want to make sure the school stays on course, and if I can use my business background in any way to help foster partnerships in the local and international business community, I’d welcome the opportunity.”
Sevilla-Sacasa spoke at UM’s inaugural Global Business Forum in 2009, sharing her insights on the global financial crisis. “The economic crisis that we are trying desperately to tame and to understand underscores, once again, how truly interconnected the world is today and how vast our impact is on other countries and on the lives of individuals we have never met,” she said at the time.
In addition to her undergraduate degree from UM, Sevilla-Sacasa holds an M.B.A. in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and she is fluent in four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
She has received numerous honors, including The Wall Street Journal – The 50 Women to Watch and Hispanic Business Magazine – 20 Elite Women.
Sevilla-Sacasa is active in philanthropic and community initiatives throughout the United States, serving on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. Her ties to South Florida run deep, as she serves on the boards of St. Thomas University in Miami and Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. She also serves on UM’s President’s Council and is vice president of the Board of Governors for Miami City Ballet.
She has been married for 26 years to Eugenio “Gene” Sevilla-Sacasa, vice president and managing director of Ryder Latin America. They have three children, ages 23, 22, and 14.
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