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Last Updated: 11/10/14

News Release

Financial Services Firms Join Together to Promote Racial Diversity

CHICAGO - Thirteen Chicago-area financial service firms have joined together with The Chicago Community Trust to increase the representation of African-American and Latino employees in the financial services sector.


Called the Financial Services Pipeline (FSP) Initiative, the group’s first summit meeting will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 20 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 S. LaSalle Street.  Representatives of the firms are:


  • Conducting research to identify challenges and opportunities for increasing the representation of African-Americans and Latinos, at all levels, within the financial sector.
  • Identifying effective actions that can be taken to meet the goal of a more diverse workforce.
  • Enhancing financial services executives’ appreciation of the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The meeting will feature the release of early findings of commissioned research by global consulting firm Mercer on the status of African-Americans and Latinos employed by FSP Initiative member institutions as well as a new yearly index tracking African-American and Latino representation in the financial services industry.  The index will also examine industry trends locally and nationally and offer comparisons with other major U.S. financial hubs.


Frank Ross, director of the Center for Accounting Education at Howard University, will be the keynote speaker at the summit. The center is dedicated to increasing awareness of the lack of African-Americans and other minorities in the accounting profession, as well as to providing research and leadership skills programs to benefit minorities.


Also featured will be breakout sessions on the following topics:


  • Diversity recruiting at the college level and earlier.
  • Creative ways to fill key jobs with diverse talent.
  • Cultural competency in the financial sector.
  • Supporting early- and mid-career people of color.

FSP Initiative members include Ariel Investments, Bank of America, BMO Harris Bank, The Chicago Community Trust, CME Group, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Holland Capital Management, Loop Capital, Madison Dearborn Partners, Mesirow Financial, Northern Trust, Urban Partnership Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wintrust Financial Corporation. Meeting attendees will include CEOs and senior executives from some of the member institutions as well as other financial firms, including leaders in the areas of human resources, diversity and inclusion, community development and philanthropy.


Co-chairs of the FSP Initiative’s CEO Leadership Council are Monica Walker, CEO and CIO of Equity at Chicago-based Holland Capital Management; Terry Mazany, president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust; and Northern Trust Chairman and CEO Frederick H. Waddell. 


“Northern Trust recognizes that the demographics of our clients and prospects are shifting,” Waddell said. “Integral to serving these clients is our ability to attract, hire and retain a diverse workforce to provide consistent and innovative solutions to our clients around the globe.  The Financial Services Pipeline initiative is providing an advanced platform to expand upon our commitment to diversity and inclusion.”


Added Walker, “As the CEO of a minority and women-owned investment management firm, I am well aware of the lack of diverse racial representation in the asset management field. Given my personal commitment to diversity and inclusion and to the development of minority professionals, my hope is that this ground-breaking research will be a solid foundation to develop a human capital strategy for the financial sector inclusive of the interests and perspectives of African-Americans and Latinos."


The meeting is open to the media.  For more information on attending or to arrange an interview with an FSP representative, contact Laura LaBarbera at 312-322-2387 or at laura.labarbera@chi.frb.org.




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