Europe’s CEOs Convene for the First Time to Work for LGBT Equality

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Chief executives from some of the world’s largest companies will come together with senior leaders from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, KKR, KPMG, Morgan Stanley and UBS to discuss how the financial services industry can advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality at the first Out on the Street: Europe Leadership Summit.

The summit will be held in London on 13 November 2012, at the global headquarters of the law firm Clifford Chance.

This is the first time that so many senior leaders have convened to work for LGBT equality, in Europe. The event will build on the successful Out on the Street summits, held annually in New York, which earlier this year brought together over 200 senior leaders from across Wall Street including the CEOs of Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, KPMG and Elliott Capital.

Todd Sears, Founder, Out on the Street, said: 'When I created Out on the Street two years ago my primary objective was to leverage the collective power of the titans of financial services as an agent of change. To date, we have already made an unprecedented impact by bringing together more than 600 senior business leaders – 70% of whom are Managing-Director level or higher – and eleven member companies with more than $630 billion (£385 billion) in market capitalisation, in support of LGBT equality'.

Lord Browne, former Group Chief Executive of BP, will moderate a panel comprised of Paul Reed, CEO Integrated Supply Trading, BP; James Leigh-Pemberton, CEO United Kingdom, Credit Suisse; Simon Collins, United Kingdom Chairman, Senior Partner, KPMG; and John Haley, CEO, Towers Watson. They will speak about their companies’ support for LGBT equality and their personal commitment to advancing LGBT rights. 

Lord Browne said: 'It is essential that business leaders make sure that LGBT people feel included in the workplace and not inadvertently excluded by thoughtless acts big and small. We do need more role models. No one should underestimate the impact of having successful and openly gay people working at companies, particularly at a senior level'.

Malcolm Sweeting, Senior Partner at Clifford Chance, said: 'We are proud to welcome Out on the Street to our London headquarters. The leadership shown by its member organizations truly demonstrates the relevance of this approach for other industries that would also benefit from working together for this common purpose'.

The summit will focus on a number of additional topics of global interest to LGBT employees, straight allies and their companies, including: a cross-industry discussion on the importance of LGBT equality from a client perspective, including business development and client relationships; new research by Out on the Street and the Center for Talent Innovation that illuminates the LGBT employee experience globally; an exploration of LGBT global talent mobility and immigration; the role and importance of having straight allies and how best to engage and “activate” them; and an in-depth comparative discussion of women’s experiences, both gay and straight, in banking.

Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive of Barclays, said: 'Equality is critically important to Barclays because it helps to ensure that we provide our customers and clients with the best possible service. That's why we support events such as Out on the Street. By using the collective power of the financial services industry, we can accelerate the pace of change across the LGBT community'.

Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, President, Europe and Emerging Markets (ex-Asia) Bank of America Merrill Lynch said: 'At Bank of America Merrill Lynch attracting, retaining and developing LGBT employees is key to our business success; to us diversity means business. We believe that creating a diverse, inclusive workforce where we can bring people from all backgrounds together produces a more dynamic, innovative and ultimately successful team. Crucially, maintaining a diverse workforce allows us to better represent our clients, which in turn, allows us to serve them more effectively'.

Senior executives from major financial services companies, major European LGBT organizations, as well as political and community leaders, will be sharing their expertise and viewpoints on these subjects, including:

  • Bob Annibale, Global Director, Microfinance, Citi
  • Brian Heyworth, Global Co-Head, Financial Institutions, HSBC
  • Claire Harvey, Great Britain Sitting Volleyball Team, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Financial Services Authority
  • Christiane Macedo, Managing Director, Infrastructure Global Technology, Deutsche Bank
  • Dusko Markovic, Deputy Prime Minister for Political System, Foreign and Interior Policy, Montenegro, Minister of Justice and Human Rights
  • Jim McEleney, COO, BNY Mellon
  • Colin Parry, Managing Director, Head Finance Shared Services, UBS
  • Robert Souter, Managing Director, Technology, Morgan Stanley
  • Ben Summerskill, OBE, Chief Executive, Stonewall UK
  • Ashok Vaswani, CEO, United Kingdom Retail and Business Banking, Barclays
  • Ralf-René Weingärtner, Director, Secretariat General, Directorate of Human Rights and Antidiscrimination – Council of Europe

'I am looking forward to the discussion at Out on the Street: Europe, as it will inform our initiatives for 2013 both in Europe, as well as for our launch of Out on the Street: Asia which will be the first LGBT focused professional event in that region', Sears said.

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