Catholic Leadership in Banking
By Meyer Freeman || Meyer Freeman is a junior Gregorian Fellow at Benedictine College, studying Economics. We asked him to tell us about his summer work.
I am in the middle of my third year at UBS Financial Services in Kansas City, where I work year-round. I started as an Intern, and am now a part-time Client Service Associate in their Private Wealth Management division. I manage the relationship of my 15 current clients, as well as help manage relationships with other members of our team. Our team specializes in retirement planning, so I create Financial Goal Analyses for our clients as well as portfolio reviews and proposals.
Along with managing current client relationships, I also prospect for new clientele. I market our team to potential clients, and invite them to a dinner seminar which I organize. A senior member of our team then presents our financial services at the dinner seminar and from there I find who will be a good client for us. From there I keep in communication with our prospects and work with them to hopefully create a prospect into a client.
Leading the dinner seminars has really helped with my leadership skills. I have an intern and other members of our team who I must lead in order to make the
seminars go smoothly. I am also learning modern corporate banking and how important having hands-on experience in the business and banking world is to working in that field. Working in a relationship business along with a banking and financial planning business has shown me the importance of having strong interpersonal skills. I have also learned the necessity of knowing how to perform the duties required of someone in a financial advising position. I plan on continuing this career once I graduate from college and earn my MBA, so the things I am learning now are very valuable to my future.
From the outside looking in, banking and financial advising seems like a far cry from the Catholic mission statement, but it’s much more closely linked than perceived. My team and I offer a service to clients to help them to not have to worry about their money, while at the same time forming and maintaining a close relationship with them. All of our clients are also our friends, and as a Catholic I believe that when people are too preoccupied with money, they forget the truly important things in their lives, like their family and their faith. Our clients frequently tell us that because they no longer need to worry about money, they spend more time with family and friends, and are more happy overall. Many financial teams try to cut corners in order to meet the goals of their clients, but our team is morally, ethically, and lawfully working hard for our clients.
The most helpful leadership lecture for me was Michael Haverty’s lecture. He is a business leader who was so committed to his personal morals that he was almost fired several times, but he managed to follow his moral compass, work as hard as he could, and was eventually very successful in the railroad industry. His lecture resonated with me because there are many unethical things that occur in the banking world, but I know that I need to stick to my morals and be a good Catholic in the banking world.
The Gregorian Institute is Benedictine College’s initiative to promote Catholic identity in public life by equipping leaders (the Gregorian speech Digest), training leaders (the Gregorian Fellows), defending the faith (the Memorare Army for Religious Freedom), and celebrating Catholic identity (the Catholic Hall of Fame).