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Conversations with a Luminary: Chris Gandy helps bring diversity & inclusion to the financial services industry

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Summary by Roger Wohlner

We recently had a chance to talk with Christopher Gandy, Founder of Midwest Legacy Group LLC a financial firm based outside of Chicago. Chris is a member of the ThinkAdvisor Luminaries class of 2021. Chris was an award winner in the category Diversity and Inclusion Luminaries, under the sub-category Individuals – Asset Management/Portfolio Firms. 

Chris is a former basketball standout at the college level and played pro basketball both in Europe and a brief stint with the Chicago Bulls where he got to know superstar Michael Jordan. Chris attributes his experience as an athlete with giving him the grit and determination to succeed in the very competitive financial services industry. He says that sports taught him that you miss every shot that you don’t take. Sport is very much like life in that respect. 

Chris indicated that he launched his firm with a mission to do things differently than many of their peers and to focus on various minority groups who are often underserved by many financial services companies. This includes African Americans, the LGBTQ community, women, as well as those of Middle Eastern and Asian Pacific heritage among others.

Chris feels the lack of diversity in the financial services industry is a problem. He indicated that the small percentage of financial professionals who represent the minority community is not reflective of where the growth in the future clients is heading. These clients representing the various groups mentioned above might like to deal with financial professionals who are more like them. Chris feels that some of the insurance companies and other financial services firms have begun to embrace diversity, but their efforts still have a long way to go. 

Chris mentioned that he is starting to see some representations on the websites of financial services firms, as well as in their brochures and on commercials. As far as the products offered, he sees change in this area moving at a much slower pace in terms of being tailored to a more diverse group of clients. 

Chris believes that diversity and inclusion is everyone’s responsibility and this is a guiding principle of his firm. He feels that recognizing that diversity exists will make us all better human beings. It’s not just the responsibility of the insurance companies or the investment companies. He feels that when everyone embraces diversity in their business model and in life we will all be better off. 

Press play to hear the entire conversation with Christopher Gandy and to learn more about his firm’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the financial services world and beyond. 

Christopher Gandy is a Registered Representative of and offers securities through OneAmerica Securities, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA, SIPC. Midwest Legacy Group is not an affiliate of OneAmerica Securities or the companies of OneAmerica and is not a broker dealer or Registered Investment Advisor.