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Last Updated: 11/20/14

News Release

Financial Services Firms Release Study on Racial Diversity

 CHICAGO – A new report called the Financial Services Pipeline 2014 Index — focused on the level of African-American and Latino employment in the Chicago-area financial services sector — is being released today as part of an ongoing initiative to increase participation of those groups in the financial services industry and improve the sector’s understanding of the benefits of a diverse workforce.

Developed as one of the first efforts of the recently created Financial Services Pipeline (FSP) Initiative, the members of which are meeting today at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the report includes:

  • Snapshots of racial and ethnic representation levels in 2013.
  • Five-year trends in racial and ethnic representation, with a focus on African-Americans and Latinos.
  • Comparisons with other major financial hubs in the United States.

Developed collaboratively by the FSP Initiative members, the report will be updated annually, said Valerie Van Meter, senior vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and co-chair of the FSP steering committee.

“Moving forward, it’s going to be important to have timely data on this issue so that we can accurately monitor the pipeline’s progress,” she explained.

In addition to discussing the Index (which is attached), representatives from global consulting firm Mercer at today’s meeting will be sharing preliminary findings from ongoing research conducted on behalf of the FSP on the status of African-Americans and Latinos at the member firms.

Preliminary findings from that research include the following:

  • The dynamics of the “internal pipelines” of African-American and Latino talent share certain characteristics.
  • Differences exist in the two pipelines. At most career levels, African-American hiring rates are lower relative to other groups but at most levels Latino hiring rates are higher.
  • No net increase in African-American and Latino representation is projected to occur in five years in the two highest career levels in the industry in Chicago.
  • Attrition is the single most powerful leverage point for increasing African American and Latino representation at the two highest career levels

A final report is expected by the end of the first quarter of next year.

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.

For more information or to arrange an interview with an FSP representative, contact Laura LaBarbera at (312) 322-2387 or via email.

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