The "Fearless Girl" – a four-foot statue of a young girl, hands on hips, staring down Wall Street's celebrated charging-bull sculpture – became an instant icon of female empowerment when she appeared, unannounced, on the eve of International Women's Day 2017.

The patron that supported the arrival of this striking addition to New York's cultural map on March 7 was, perhaps, an unlikely one: State Street Global Advisors, a Boston-based investment group with $2.5 trillion in assets under management.

While the company boasts enormous clout among the money men and women, Stephen Tisdalle – its Chief Marketing Officer – suggested the decision to create an eye-catching, statement-making bronze statue was underpinned, in part, by a classic strategic conundrum.

"We had a very interesting dilemma, because we aren't unknown, yet we have a lot of amazing things that we do where we've not been really good at communicating it. We've not been able to really connect, if you will," he said during a session held by Facebook at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.