Betsy Z. Cohen in her New York office.

Betsy Z. Cohen

Founder and Strategic Advisor

Widely acknowledged as a pioneer in financial law, banking, real estate lending, investing and development, Betsy Cohen and her achievements have been widely recognized by some of the nation’s most prestigious organizations and publications. By the time she founded Jefferson Bank at 32 years of age (which she subsequently sold for over $370 million), she had already served as only the second female law professor on the East Coast (after Ruth Bader Ginsburg), created a commercial law firm, started a shipping business in Hong Kong, set up a leasing company in Brazil, and entered into a joint venture with a bank in Spain. But it would be her creation in 1999 of The Bancorp - a revolutionary concept in commercial banking - that would anchor her position as a true financial services visionary. Today, as Chairman of the Board of FinTech Acquisition Corp., Betsy’s entrepreneurial vision is focused on identifying disruptive technology innovation in the financial services industry, with a particular focus on established companies that offer data processing, transactional or data security, consumer engagement platforms and payment processing services.

Economic Club of New York Board Secretary Edward F. Cox, General Counsel Andrew Grumet, Trustee Betsy Z. Cohen and Past President Paul W. Bateman.

“The success of a business person can be measured by the problems she has successfully solved.”

Betsy Z. Cohen, Inc. Your Dreams, 1995
Philanthropist and avid supporter of the arts Betsy Z. Cohen accepts an honoree portrait created by Rush Kids! of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.

Select Awards

Named by US BANKER/25 Women to Watch

Recipient of the Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award

Named by US BANKER/25 Outstanding Women Bankers

Recipient of the Drexel University Business Leader of the Year Award

Ranked #89 in Working Woman Top 500

Recipient of the Elizabeth Dole Glass Ceiling Award, from the Southeastern PA American Red Cross

Ranked #103 in Working Woman magazine’s T0P 500 businesswomen

Recipient of A Woman of Distinction Award, Community Women's Education Project

Named one of 50 Leading Female Entrepreneurs of the World by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners

Recipient of the Paradigm Award by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, keynote address by Governor Tom Ridge

Named one of TOP 50 businesswomen in Pennsylvania

Recipient of the Delaware Valley Master Entrepreneur of the Year in association with Inc. “Entrepreneur of the Year” awards

Betsy Z. Cohen with Henry Kissinger, Asia Society

Corporate and Board Affiliations

Director Aetna, Inc. (NYSE: "AET")
Chairman Fintech
Founding Member Asia Society Policy Institute
Secretary Asia Society
Trustee Asia Society, Executive Committee
Trustee Brookings Institution
Honorary Trustee Metropolitan Museum of Art
Finance Committee Metropolitan Opera
Treasurer Metropolitan Opera
Managing Director Metropolitan Opera

Career Highlights

1966 Served as Law Clerk to the Honorable John Biggs, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
1967 Became the second female law professor on the East Coast, teaching Antitrust Law and Government Regulation of Business at Rutgers University Law School.
1970 Co-founded a Philadelphia law firm that specialized in representing financial institutions and industry clients in complex real estate and financial matters.
1971 Following the passage of the Bank Holding Act, consulted to small and mid-sized banks and bank holding companies nationwide on debt restructuring, recapitalization, and regulatory issues.
1974 Raised capital and received regulatory approval to found Jefferson Bank, the first new bank in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 11 years. Jefferson Bank subsequently grew to become the largest financial institution headquartered in Pennsylvania. The only female bank CEO in Pennsylvania, Betsy served continuously as Jefferson Bank’s Chairman and CEO, as well as Chairman and CEO of its holding company, JeffBanks, Inc. (NASDAQ: “JEFF”), until selling the company to Hudson United Bancshares (NYSE: “HU”) in early 2000.
1984 Became Chairman and CEO of State National Bank (Maryland), which was sold to Dominion Bank in 1986 and subsequently acquired by First Union Bank in 1989.
1986 through 1993 Served as a Director of First Union Bank (Virginia).
1992 Founded Jefferson Bank New Jersey in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.
1993 Orchestrated the Initial Public Offering of State Bancshares, Inc., a bank holding company that was later known as JeffBanks, Inc
1998 Formed RAIT Financial Trust (NYSE: “RAS”), a $10 billion real estate investment trust, and served as its Chairman until resigning in December 2010.
2000 Founded The Bancorp Bank, an FDIC-insured online commercial bank that delivers a full array of financial services and products both directly and through more than 300 private-label affinity partner programs nationwide. When it was introduced in 2000, The Bancorp’s ability to create customized banks for affinity partners set a new standard in financial services innovation. Today The Bancorp remains a leader as one of the few banks dedicated to providing private-label banking and technology solutions for non-bank companies.
2014 Stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of The Bancorp; is continuing on with the company in an advisory capacity.
2015 Began serving as Chairman of the Board of FinTech Acquisition Corp.