Investing in Veterans
By Mike Steinbach, Citi Salutes Co-lead and Head of Fraud Prevention, Global Consumer Bank November 08, 2021 03:15 PM
On November 11, we will observe Veterans Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in the UK to pay tribute to those who have served their country. At Citi, we recognize the month of November as Veterans and Military Families Month. This month has particular meaning for me because I am a veteran and my family has been by my side through it all, both good and bad. Many of my family members and my close circle of friends are either veterans or are currently serving on active duty around the globe. In fact, both my son and future son-in-law currently serve as officers in the U.S. Marine Corps.
I feel like many of my fellow veterans do – very proud to have served my country but also keenly aware of the numerous and unique challenges veterans can face after leaving active duty. I am passionate about advocating for our veterans, not just because they deserve it, but because I know the valuable contributions veterans can offer back to our communities. From my first days in the military, I learned through practical and hands-on experiences about followership and leadership. I learned how to quickly assess a dynamic situation, obtain valuable contributions from teammates, and then execute on a plan. Succeed or fail fast, but most importantly, move forward was how I was trained.
Drilled into my subconscious as a young adult were the five basic responses of the Navy: “yes,” “no,” “aye aye,” “I’ll find out” and “no excuse.” In the simplicity of these answers there is responsibility and accountability and an implicit message that one will continue to drive for excellence and deliver. These leadership qualities are second nature to many veterans and are in great demand today in our communities and in the workforce, including here at Citi. This is especially true given the unique and trying times we have all faced these last two years during the pandemic. When you hire a veteran you are investing in the future.
Speaking of investing, Citi supports the veterans community in a number of ways, including through the Citi Impact Fund, which makes equity investments in "double bottom line" companies that are applying innovative solutions to help address some of society's most pressing challenges. For example, our Citi Impact Fund investee, PadSplit, shares our mission of supporting military veterans. Their marketplace incentivizes more affordable housing creation by monetizing underutilized rooms in single-family homes and increasing profitability for property owners, without requiring public subsidies.
Not only is PadSplit used by veterans – it’s also founded by one. Frank Furman, PadSplit’s Co-founder and COO, served as an Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps, where he commanded at the platoon and company levels and served two tours in Afghanistan. His team has a shared passion for helping their communities and a collective vision of empowering all of their members, including veterans, to reach financial independence.
Shift, another Impact Fund investee, is a career advancement company where current and former members of the US Military discover careers, acquire and demonstrate new skills, and embark upon new job experiences at leading companies around the world. Veteran and Founder Mike Slagh saw an opportunity – from active duty servicemembers in the midst of their military career to veterans who have made the transition to civilian life. Shift’s community platform allows its members to engage in career development services that keep them competitive in the current and future economy.
As a firm that offers programs and financial education resources for veterans, members of the military and their families, we are proud to work with companies like PadSplit and Shift. This Veterans Month, we are grateful for those who have served and continue to make meaningful contributions at Citi and in our communities.