Amid lots of talk about creating a more diverse workforce, Ally Financial’s Moguls in the Making program is making it happen.
Last weekend, the online financial services company brought 60 students from 15 historically Black universities and colleges to Charlotte for three days of competition and programs related to personal finance and business skills. It’s the fourth year for Moguls, which started at Ally’s headquarters of Detroit in 2019, and was virtual in 2020-21.
“If we are serious about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and creating a culture where everyone is welcome and everyone is empowered, we need to think differently,” Ally CEO Jeff Brown told the students in opening remarks. He is based in Charlotte.
He calls Moguls in the Making “a perfect partnership” involving Ally, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, HBCUs and a foundation led by Detroit rapper Sean Anderson, who has sold more than 15 million records.
Four men from Morehouse College took home the top prize, with each student receiving a $20,000 scholarship. Baltimore’s Morgan State University was second, followed by Southern University of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The sole N.C. college taking part was N.C. A&T State University, which won the competition in 2021.
During the weekend, the 60 students learned from and worked with many Ally executives. The program included three nights at the city’s new JW Marriott, where the daily rate typically tops $400.
Andrea Brimmer, Ally’s chief marketing and PR executive, approached Brown with the Moguls idea as a way to help build the company’s pipeline of Black staffers. No other major financial company had a similar effort, she told Brown.
Over the last four years, the company has hired 12 people and 36 interns who participated in the event.
Among the notable outcomes of the Moguls program was the 2019 development of Fintropolis, which has become part of the Minecraft video game in a partnership with Ally. Fintropolis has been downloaded 3.5 million times.
Brown calls Moguls a highlight of his year. He keeps photos of previous winners near his desk in downtown Charlotte.
Ally’s focus on a diverse workforce makes the company more valuable for shareholders because more viewpoints leads to better results, he says.
“These are the future leaders of our company and country,” he says. “Moguls is a huge win for us. It gets new talent and ideas into the company.”
“I truly hold this program close to my heart.”