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Chris Smerald

Actuary,

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What is out of kilter in Financial Services for employees & society at large?What seeds of positive change are in the wind or on the ground?

There is a lot of admirable focus these days on culture, sustainability and ethics in the financial sector, but ideals can be stunted by everyday realities or sown even by small victories -so what are they? This is a listening question to help inform a volunteer group of insiders and concerned citizens seeking to care for and encourage the soil and seeds that positive change will sprout from. We think it will emerge more from conversations like this than someone’s forced agenda.

Thank you so much. Our group, City Forum, is in partnership with St. Ethelburga’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (a multi-faith and secular focused London charity founded out of the ruins of a 1993 terrorist bombing whose mission is ”to help people build relationships across divisions of conflict, culture and religion”). We have begun organizing events around these general topics and your responses will help aid our research and strategy setting. You can search us using “City Forum St Ethelburga’s” to find out more.

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    Nov 29 2013: Chris, I have served in various management positions and at many levels financial counseling was always a part of the big picture. I am not a expert but most o us can spot a bad situation.

    As the saying goes, "You can't undo stupid". People seek assistance when the water is over their heads. What would be of importance would be to find a means of transmitting this sound advice to near graduates in high schools and colleges. Many people get their first job and buy a expensive car and look or a house and a spouse. Before they know it they are in deep.

    If your agency could reach these people prior to making these errors it would be a great accomplishment.

    When I was in the military I taught a volunteer course in "Live Management" I taught powder puff mechanics, homemaking, cooking, budgeting 101, ... survival skills in the real world. This was open to all ranks and their spouses. It turn out to be a success. Once we covered the basics I asked for other areas of interest and arranged for special speakers.

    The point is that "it ain't gotta be fancy" just effective and word of mouth will send you people.

    Be well. Bob.
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      Nov 29 2013: A good point. I was just at a small business start-up conference and was impressed by how mentoring as a business service has sprouted up. Thinking about your contribution, it feels like there are riches of niches waiting to be filled also (for of individuals and employees from an "outside" fresh perspective). It just takes some organization and trust to get started...

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