Western & Southern: Investing in Diversity for Tomorrow's Financial Leaders

Western & Southern: Investing in Diversity for Tomorrow's Financial Leaders

The future of business is bright in Ohio with the recent ground-breaking of a new Intel microchip plant in Columbus and the record-breaking 197,010 new businesses created in 2021. The next challenge to keep the momentum going is cultivating a steady stream of homegrown and diverse leaders.

Western & Southern Financial Group continues to be at the forefront of building into local communities and is committed to finding tomorrow’s leaders in the finance industry. In 2021, global investment management firm Morgan Stanley encouraged other financial groups to invest in a diverse group of next-generation leaders by creating an initiative called The Equity Collective.

“By banding together, we can be a force multiplier to impact our industry in a meaningful way,” says Andy Saperstein, co-president of Morgan Stanley and Head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. “The Equity Collective is committed to investing early in under-represented communities and focusing our [collective] efforts on increasing the pool of interested and qualified people who consider a career in financial services.”

Joining The Equity Collective on behalf of Western & Southern are two of its Cincinnati subsidiaries, Touchstone Investments and Fort Washington Investment Advisors.

The Equity Collective’s mission of educating, empowering, and developing diverse leaders in the financial services industry aligns with Western & Southern’s own goals.

“We are a company that believes in giving back,” says Western & Southern Chairman, President and CEO John F. Barrett. “One way we can do that is to help foster a strong workforce for tomorrow.

This means forging new relationships where we can and leveraging existing ones to benefit more people and make a broader impact.”

Members of The Equity Collective want to increase awareness about financial services career opportunities and reach future leaders by demystifying the industry and breaking down barriers.

“We have always valued and appreciated a rich and diverse mix of minds, backgrounds and experiences,” says Maribeth S. Rahe, president and CEO of Fort Washington. “Simply put, we are all better when we are surrounded by the best possible talent. The Equity Collective is taking a novel approach to empowering and developing the next generation of leaders in our industry, and Fort Washington is proud and excited to join Touchstone to help champion this effort in the Greater Cincinnati region.”

The Equity Collective members have already begun collaborating with youth-focused groups like Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Through their CareerLaunch program, The Equity Collective could potentially reach 4.6 million children who often live in underserved areas.

Fort Washington and Touchstone associates are off to a great start, volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati to complete a beautification project and conduct financial education seminars for teens. At Xavier University, the companies are building relationships with fall sports athletes and offering opportunities such as jobs, internships and mentoring. At Northern Kentucky University, Western & Southern has continued to expand upon its current presence on campus by introducing Touchstone and Fort Washington associates to talk about corporate culture and lend their expertise to highlight career opportunities in the financial services industry.

“The financial services industry’s primary goal is to help people from all walks of life take care of their financial lives and futures,” explains Blake Moore, president and CEO of Touchstone Investments. “For Touchstone, Fort Washington and the Western & Southern family of companies, we seek leaders with a variety of backgrounds, traits and life experiences to help ensure we’re meeting the growing needs of the diverse customer base we serve.”

Visit westernsouthern.com to find out more about Western & Southern Financial Group.

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