There is a growing, important awareness of the value differing minds bring to the process of solving complex challenges.
From ethnicity and gender to age, cultural heritage, education, collective work experiences, leadership style and more, difference comes in many forms. For nearly 30 years, Toigo’s focus has been on bringing greater ethnic diversity to the field of finance.
Despite the availability of diverse talent with the academic stature, experience and a desire to lead and contribute, the percentage of under-representation individuals ascending to leadership roles remains too small.
In business sectors outside of finance, women and minorities are making gains, but progress remains lackluster within finance and finance functions, including CFOs, business unit leaders, M&A, and more. With finance institutions and finance leaders driving decisions about where billions in capital is invested, a lack of diverse leadership impacts employment, housing, educational access, retirement and more.
The current state compounds the challenges ahead. As young professionals explore and weigh their career options, the fact that too few C-Suite and senior leaders are diverse reflects poorly on a organization and industry sector. Why are so few leaders African American, Latino or Native American? Is the reason because the culture is not inclusive? Are the numbers of talented individuals insufficient to make a true mark on change? Or are processes or policies perpetuating bias?
Today’s current climate underscores the critical importance of both Toigo’s work and our nearly 30-year lens of change.
Forging strategic, thoughtful partnerships with Toigo is an effective way to gain greater insights into current trends and, more importantly, innovative ways to navigate and forge ahead.
TALENT. The non-profit is a proven source for tapping highly potential diverse talent at all stages of professional development, from newly minted MBAs to prospective board members. In 2016 our Fellow and Alumni base grew to 1,300 strong. Toigo is dispelling the myth that high caliber diverse talent is not available and at the ready.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING / SUPPORT. Toigo’s post graduate programming is designed to provide diverse talent with the support, including
- Women | Groundbreakers: Women in Leadership
- Entrepreneurs | Bridge to Business
- Board Service | All A Board
- Rising Leaders | ToigoPRO, Industry Insights, APeX Training
INSIGHTS. To advance leadership by all and for all, we continually identify key trends and issues and explore them in-depth via thought leadership content and counsel. We share this work with human capital professionals and broadly across key decision makers to spark dialogue and assist teams beginning to embark on an inclusion strategy with insights into best practices and observations—all solutions that will drive more inclusion within their organizations.
“What you learn quickly is that getting into top academic institutions is merely a step in their journey, not the measure of their success.”
Bringing Diversity to Life requires that Toigo create new ways of identifying and vetting diverse talent poised for success, both in the MBA classroom and, long-term, in the workplace. Part of our mandate is to bring more aspiring leaders into finance and help them navigate a path forward.
Our Fellows background and cultural heritage is—no surprise—exceptionally diverse. From modest beginnings with more of a chance of despair and challenges than opportunity, each has a distinct and different story. Part of our work is helping each remain true to their heritage while flourishing as leaders.
In our selection process, our goal is to identify future Fellows for strong leadership potential, character and constitution.
- Fellowship: By the Numbers
- Current Fellows include 72 1st year MBA candidates (our largest class to date)
- 30% female, 70% male
- 27 years old (average age)
- 67% transitioning INTO finance
- Ethnic Representation
- African American / Black 54%
- Asian American 9%
- Hispanic / Latino 28%
- Multi-Ethnic 7%
- Native American 2%
- Toigo Fellow Career Focus
- Alternative Investing 28%
- Investment Management 24%
- Investment Banking 23%
- Finance-related 21%
- FinTech & Tech Start-ups 14%
“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”
— Gloria Steinem, Activist & Author
Toigo’s mission to support under-represented individuals extends to advancing women leaders through our Groundbreakers initiative anchored by our annual Groundbreaker’s Women in Leadership Summit—now six years running.
The Summit presents a dynamic lineup of speakers, thought leaders and professionals who bring best in class perspectives and training on professional development topics that focus on furthering success and breakthroughs to new opportunities. Our goal? Present an investment conference where the investment is in the individual. Our participants cross all dimensions of diversity—stage of career, race, industry and role—to expand networks and thinking.
In 2016, our audience of nearly 300 was riveted by the keynote conversation with Gloria Steinem, internationally known author and activist. Steinem shared a “then and now’ perspective on the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of all women to take active control of their leadership journey. Together with other prominent speakers and workshop session leaders, Groundbreakers brings diversity to life for women. The popularity of the event has drawn interest by firms to leverage the event as an extension of their own corporate women in leadership initiatives, ensuring the Toigo brand continues to grow stronger.
“Whether it’s a speaker, session or unexpected interaction—Groundbreakers is a catalyst for insight into personal, professional, and societal considerations. There’s always a moment of illumination.”
— Toigo Alumna
Hallmarks of Leadership
Nothing brings diversity to life more than four key hallmarks of leadership: entrepreneurship, corporate leadership and board governance.
Toigo has created focused, relevant programs and channels to address industry needs—and potential—in these three core areas. Each has continued to grow and flourish in 2016.
The desire and drive to launch and lead a business is a bond among many Toigo Alumni. In 2016, Toigo recognized the powerful interplay between finance and technology as evidenced in the growing FinTech sector. Our 2016 Bridge to Business recipient, Isa Watson launched Envested, Inc. after graduating from MIT Sloan in 2013. A Toigo Fellow and former M&A investment banker and scientist at a leading big pharma croporation, Isa was named to Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 List and has been profiled by Fast Company and other top publications. Envested is a venture-backed enterprise software company that created and is currently scaling a next generation employee engagement product.
The grant provides this Toigo Alum with needed capital to fuel her early stage growth; Isa is the 5th Bridge to Business grant recipient. Toigo’s Bridge to Business’s impact extends well beyond the grant funding. As the recipient, Isa benefits from tapping the Toigo network for ongoing guidance and support during this pivotal time in their career.
In 2016, more than 15 Toigo Alums with new business ventures applied for the Bridge to Business Award—all after attending the Foundation’s new LaunchPad online courses on entrepreneurship.
A key part of the grant selection is a giveback component to the Foundation—an extension of Sue and Bob Toigo’s belief that by finding a cause bigger than yourself, you can drive meaningful and lasting change.
“This grant enables us to take our product to the next level and position ourselves for rapid growth. Toigo has been a critical factor in my career ascension to date and I know this partnership will help better position my entrepreneurial venture for success.”
— Isa Watson, Toigo Alumna, 2016 Bridge to Business recipient
“Toigo has been instrumental in my professional development. They’re my trusted and impartial sounding board when I’m considering new professional opportunities. Toigo provides invaluable benchmarks and points of reference for me when I am making key career decisions.”
Toigo takes great pride in the ongoing advancement of its talent into to key leadership roles within their organizations. With more than 40% at the Managing Director level and above, Toigo’s senior level coaching and counseling has helped those individuals at critical career moments to make the important, step into the next level.
An example of Toigo Alumni leadership on the rise, Toigo Alumna Leslie Hale was named Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 2016 at RLJ Lodging Trust, in addition to serving as the organization’s CFO. In this dual role, her responsibilities were expanded to include the management of the company’s operating platform, primarily comprising the Asset Management and Design and Construction functions. Leslie oversees all financial matters, investor relations, and remains significantly involved in the daily operations of the company.
Leaders in the Boardroom
Toigo has also taken its place to advance the agenda of board diversity. Promoting the merits of inclusion at this critical leadership level is a natural extension of Toigo’s work. We engage with industry to explore the ideal opportunity for our post-graduate talent base and provide training and counsel on establishing a philanthropic mindset among pipeline talent for the future.
Today, Toigo Alumni bring their financial acumen and business expertise to foundations and endowments, select public funds, mutual funds, private and public corporate boards, and a host of non-profits. Three Toigo Alumni currently serve on the Toigo Board.
A growing number of Toigo Alumni—10% plus—currently serve as board members. As nominating committees pursue qualified directors, including an increased focus on women and minority candidates, Toigo is a proven resource.
“You have to possess multiple skills to be an outlier of excellence.”
Bringing Diversity to Life is the critical role of organizational leadership. From strategic planning to preservation of mission and ensuring the delivery of programs, non-profit leaders today are evaluated across a variety of leadership dimensions.
Toigo’s success in moving its agenda forward is grounded in a collaborative model that engages a mix of constituent groups to elevate its impact, service and work for the greater good.
In 2016, a comprehensive case study was published highlighting Nancy Sims and her leadership during the financial market slowdown. The case study is being used as MBA-level course material. Published by Case Research Journal, the case report reviews her industry track record as a leader and the different ways her leadership qualities and skills brought the organization forward through cyclical market dynamics that adversely impacted employment for talent, corporate philanthropy and program support.
Donors today have confidence is knowing that organizations like Toigo possess sound leadership, ethical standards of work and engagement and strategic capacity to stay true of their original mission.
Toigo Board Governance
The strategic and forward-thinking work of the professionals who serve on the Toigo Board of Directors remains a critical component of the organization’s impact.
Realizing that governance within the non-profit sector today is becoming more dynamic, layered with regulations and compliance reporting responsibilities, these individuals quickly absorb key information to identify how their individual skills and expertise will advance our vision and impact.
Each member brings a deliberate mix of viewpoints and experiences that brings diversity to life across all constituent groups we serve. Together they exchange, challenge, and stretch their thinking around Toigo today and for the future.
The organization has been tremendously fortunate to benefit from the passionate enthusiasm of an individuals for their commitment to maintain openness for healthy discourse, fiduciary care and who come together quickly on matters of greatest importance. Mostly importantly, the Board ensures that the work of the non-profit’s work continues to serve its public service.
The Foundation has consistently shown an ability to execute on its mission with prudent care and cost efficiency across all aspects of the operation. The skill to generate revenue with a low cost of fundraising expenses exemplifies the organization’s success in leveraging resources to achieve results.
Toigo Board of Directors
Sue Toigo | Fitzgibbon Toigo Associates
Chairman | David Marchick | The Carlyle Group
Vice Chair | Denise Nappier | Treasurer, State of Connecticut
Treasurer | Jay Ferguson | Vicente Capital Partners
Secretary | Andrea Beldecos | JP Morgan Asset Management
Jerry Albright | Teachers Retirement System of Texas
Dan Allen | State Universities Retirement System of Illinois
Sheri Bronstein | Bank of America
Mary Cahill | Emory University
Ellen-Blair Chube | William Blair & Company
Jose E. Feliciano | Clearlake Capital Group, L.P.
Jose Fernandez | StepStone Group
Leslie Hale | RLJ Lodging Trust
Heather Hammond | Russell Reynolds Associates
Carla Harris | Morgan Stanley
David A. Hunt | PGIM The Global Investment Management Business of Prudential Inc.
Troy Jenkins | Profit Investment Management
Kate Jonas | BlackRock
Henry Jones | California Public Employees’ Retirement System
Katherine A. Lehman | Lincolnshire Management, Inc.
Victor MacFarlane | MacFarlane Partners
Tony de Nicola | Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe
Janice Cook Roberts | Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Carlos Schonfeld | Capital International Research, Inc.
Erik Scott | Palladium Equity Partners
Dhvani Shah | Illinois Municipal Employees Retirement Fund
Jack Thayer | Exelon
Jim Williams | J. Paul Getty Trust
Kelly Williams | GCM Grosvenor Private Markets
Joel Wittenberg | WK Kellogg Foundation
Paul R. Yett | Hamilton Lane Advisors
Christopher J. Ailman | California State Teachers’ Retirement System
Joe Alejandro | Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association
Stuart Bernstein | Capridge Partners
Judy Chambers | Pension Consulting Alliance
Vijoy Paul Chattergy | Hawaii Employees Retirement System
Janet Cowell | Treasurer, State of North Carolina
Alex Doñé | New York City Office of the Comptroller
David Fann | TorreyCove Capital Partners
Carmen Heredia-Lopez, CFA | WK Kellogg Foundation
Dick Ingram | Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois
Josh Kawaii-Bogue | California State Teachers’ Retirement System
Lisa Mazzocco | University of Southern California
Leslie Spencer | PFM Asset Management, LLC
Scott Stedman | The Yucaipa Companies
Scott Stringer | New York City Office of the Comptroller
Laurie Weir | California Public Employees’ Retirement System
Ash Williams | Florida State Board Administration
President & CEO
Nancy Sims | Robert Toigo Foundation