Federal Reserve of
Chicago holds third summit on diversity initiative in financial services
1, 2016) A coalition of financial services firms and the Federal Reserve
Bank of Chicago held its third annual Summit last week. The initiative
called the Financial Services Pipeline (FSP) seeks to increase racial
diversity within Chicago's financial sector.
"The FSP is working hard to increase and retain the representation of
African Americans and Latinos in our industry," said Valerie Van Meter,
senior vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and co-chair of
the FSP Steering Committee. "We've identified that there's a problem and
as a collective, we need to implement an aggressive plan to help us
achieve our commitment to diversify the financial services industry."
The two goals of the FSP Initiative are to increase the representation
of Latinos and African-Americans, at all levels, within Chicago's
financial services industry; and improve the overall cultural competency
within the region. The group plans to achieve these goals with three
phases: Phase 1 (2013 to 2014) involved formation; Phase 2 (2015),
included research and action planning; and Phase 3 (late 2015 - beyond)
will involve implementation.
FSP Initiative members include Ariel Investments, Bank of America, BMO
Harris Bank, CME Group, Discover, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago,
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Holland Capital Management, Illinois
State Treasurer's Office, Loop Capital, Madison Dearborn Partners,
Mesirow Financial, Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust, The Chicago Community
Trust, The PrivateBank, U.S. Bank, Urban Partnership Bank, William Blair
and Wintrust Financial Corporation.
"I think the Federal Reserve's Pipeline initiative is the right thing to
do to get financial institutions into the room," said John Rogers,
Chairman, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments, "It's
important to hear and understand how little has changed in the last 40
years. People assumed that we're continuing to progress. So by bringing
people together they realize that things have not gotten better and
effectively have gotten worse."
Rogers said that he is optimistic about FSP's potential to change the
landscape. "I think Terry Mazany [president and chief executive officer
for The Chicago Community Trust] has done a fantastic job in providing
moral leadership on this issue. And it was great to see John Canning,
[founder and chairman of private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners]
in the room, listening and staying for the entire presentation. A few
people like that can make all the difference."
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