A message from Jim Cracchiolo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
As a valued client, we’re sharing with you a communication that Jim Cracchiolo, Ameriprise Financial Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, sent to the firm’s 20,000 employees and advisors on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
I am thinking of all of you and appreciate your caring for our clients and each other during this increasingly difficult time. Recently I shared my thoughts with you as tragic events occurred, and today, I am expanding on those thoughts here — they have the full support of my Executive Leadership Team.
First and foremost, there is understandable anger, pain and unrest in the Twin Cities and now in a number of locations throughout the United States. There are similar issues around the world. It is a challenging time that comes when we were already under tremendous stress with the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis.
What caused George Floyd’s tragic death, and sadly, so many others in the black community before him, is disgusting and reprehensible, and justice must be served. Ongoing racial injustice, combined with COVID-19 and the economic impacts, have caused deep pain in black and other under-represented communities. In addition to this most recent injustice, we must address the systemic issues and disparities that exist in our society that also cause inequality.
Very clearly, as a values-driven firm, we fully condemn and do not tolerate racism, injustice, and violence of any kind, toward anyone. Total respect for and value of human life, as well as the dignity of every individual, must be at the forefront of our behavior and actions as a society. We must be guided by, at all times, compassion and understanding, and demonstrate more active listening, empathy, self-awareness and decency. Our collective goodness must be drawn upon as a force of change and progress.
We support and believe in freedom of speech, the right to peacefully protest and for voices to be heard, listened to and respected. The devastating destruction of property and harm to innocent people and communities must stop in order to foster dialogue that results in progress, not setbacks. As with injustice, we must address this compounding, negative impact on our communities by helping to heal now. We don’t have all the answers; I firmly believe that courageous and civil dialogue, combined with decisive action for the long term, are required to make progress.
As always, Ameriprise will be part of the solution and a positive influence as an organization and industry leader. We are deeply committed to furthering our important diversity and inclusion efforts that have always served to strengthen our culture. These efforts are underscored by our Vision, Values, and Behaviors and Commitments, and are what has made us strong and enduring.
- Our leaders will remain steadfast in listening, supporting dialogue and creating awareness that drives inclusion and meaningful, sustained action. And, our longstanding 13 business resource networks and 27 global network chapters will continue to serve as important forums to further enable these efforts.
- I serve on the governance committee of the Business Roundtable where in 2019 we updated our “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” which emphasizes a commitment to serving all stakeholders and stresses the importance of equality, fostering diversity and inclusion, dignity and respect among employees and the communities in which we work.
- And, earlier this year, I signed The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge, which commits to cultivating environments that support open dialogue on complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion.
- Importantly, we are engaged with elected officials, urging steps that bring society together and focus on concrete actions to create a better future for all.
- We support creating policies and making investments that create paths for all people to thrive and prosper in a strong economy.
We respect and strengthen the communities in which we live and work, as one of our core values and because it is the right thing to do. We play a very important role in our communities and help those who are most in need through our grant making, gift matching, volunteerism and National Days of Service. And, our legacy for a culture of caring will guide us.
We always prioritize the health and safety of our employees, advisors, field staff and clients. This includes supporting people through periods of unrest, especially those living in and around impacted communities.
Finally, each of us has the power to make a positive difference. Throughout our country and the world, it will require a much more open dialogue and we must understand that it will be a journey in order to make meaningful, lasting change. I know that all of you around the world will support and lift each other up, serve our clients and contribute to the communities in which we live and work.
Please, be kind to each other and stay safe.