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Chicago-based initiative holds summit to address alarming declines in diversity at financial firms

In an effort to increase diversity in the financial services industry, the Financial Services Pipeline (FSP) will host its third annual Summit on Friday, October 28, 8 a.m. at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 S. LaSalle Street. FSP is a coalition of financial services firms whose joint goal is to increase racial diversity within Chicago’s financial sector.

According to a Mercer study commissioned by FSP, the number of African Americans and Latinos in the financial services industry is projected to decline within five years if nothing is done to fix hiring and retention at area firms. The impact is even more severe for promotion into senior management and executive level positions within the industry.

“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 Summit will serve as the springboard of FSP’s implementation phase. It will feature a panel of key leaders from FSP member organizations, including area firm CEOs, discussing new data that supports the FSP’s goals. Charles Evans, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will provide opening remarks and the panel will feature The Chicago Community Trust’s President and CEO, Terry Mazany, John Rogers Jr., Chairman, CEO and Chief Investment Officer, Ariel Investments, Monica Walker, CEO, Holland Capital Management, Matt Feldman, CEO, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, and several others.

Additional attendees will include member firms’ representatives from human resources, diversity and inclusion, community development, philanthropy, as well as external partner organizations working to increase diversity in the sector at various phases of the pipeline initiative. During the Summit, key individuals will share best practices among member firms and external organizations.

For more information or to arrange an interview with representatives of the Financial Services Pipeline Initiative, contact Tracy Asencio at 312-228-8828, or at [email protected].

About the FSP

The FSP Initiative was founded in 2013 by a group of Chicago-based financial institutions that joined forces to address the lack of diversity in the financial services sector within Chicago. The two goals of the FSP Initiative are to: Increase the representation of Latinos and African-Americans, at all levels, within the FS industry within Chicago; 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.

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