Susan Avarde

Activation Partner

New York City


As the former Head of Global Brand at Citigroup, Susan was responsible for brand growth across all lines of business. She advised Citi’s management team and CEOs in 100+ countries and led Citi’s award-winning 200-years campaign featuring untold stories of client progress. During her tenure, she led the brand integration and modernization of the global behemoth, enhancing the customer experience through a comprehensive range of activities, which drove business results in major markets around the world. Campaigns won 200+ awards, including an Emmy. Additionally, based on the work she co-led to digitize the branch ecosystem, Fast Company recognized Citi as one of the 10 most innovative companies in Finance. 

Prior to joining Citi, Susan successfully led many programs and built teams that aligned with CEO and Board business imperatives such as IPO’s, divestitures and acquisitions. The list of companies served during her career includes 30+ well-known corporations in 9 sectors in 20+ countries, serving brands such as Accenture, International Olympic Committee, AT&T and Air France. 

Monitoring trends and ideologies, knowing they present business opportunities, is foundational to Susan’s approach. Much of her work has been created at the intersection of friction and growth. Her ideas are informed by economic, technological and social shifts such as; connectivity to convergence, lifespan to healthspan, the rise of “Double X economy,” and the growth of social enterprise.


Susan’s ability to recognize a bleeding-edge trend is exemplified by the creation of a new investment index she introduced into the market. The Brand Value index uses brand power scores as one of the measures to identify the right time to invest. The BVAL ETF, which tracks the index, was launched onto the NYSE in 2017. Intangible value matters, and Wall Street has begun to pay attention to brand. This new product is the first of its kind and the marketing model leverages new digital demand-gen techniques to educate Millennials and advisors.

Susan has been invited by FOX TV Business News and Oxford University SAID, to discuss various aspects of the “money taboo” and its impact on FS. She is an AMA academy voting member, has been honored with a Civic Spirit award, and has been invited to the White House twice to promote excellence in design and innovation.


Having a comprehensive understanding of company life cycles and how to deliver value to organizations means Susan can operate effectively leveraging a deep understanding of the financial sector’s opportunities and challenges. She has an analytical approach to assessing the impact of brand and marketing activities while at the same time being highly imaginative and delivering world-class creativity. She has made her home on three continents and is orientated to think through all she does in the light of how it improves the lives of others.