One Equal World

First Openly Gay CEO Of a Publicly Traded Bank

Posted on: August 22, 2014

Trevor Burgess just became the first openly gay CEO of a publicly traded bank in the United States. While recent trends in America have progressed toward more LGBTQ-friendly companies, there still isn’t an openly gay CEO at any of the top 1,000 firms in the United States.

Trevor Burgess is the first openly gay CEO of a publicly traded bank in the US

Trevor Burgess is the first openly gay CEO of a publicly traded bank in the US

However, Burgess made history when he became the CEO of C1 Financial. The company is a regional bank with 29 locations in Florida. Burgess’s husband, Gary Hess, owns shares in the company as well.

“It’s only a matter of time before openly gay people, people like me who have been authentic their entire adult lives, rise through the ranks to the C-suite,” Burgess said. “We have great examples in basketball, soccer, football and many other walks of life and now the [New York Stock Exchange]!”

While there might not another openly gay CEO, there are plenty of people who represent the LGBTQ communities in large roles within major companies and institutions. For example, Antoino Simoes is the deputy chief executive of HSBC UK, a prominent banking company, Claudia Brind-Woody is the Vice President of IBM, and Ken Mehlman has an active leadership role at KKR, a global private equity firm. These are only just a handful of openly gay men and women holding top leadership positions at large companies. As Burgess notes, there are many other openly LGBT individuals in other industries such as professional athletics and entertainment.

Many took to social media to congratulate Burgess about his new role as CEO. Irene Dorner, President and CEO of HSBC stated, “Leaders who feel comfortable being open about their sexual orientation are more productive and engaged, which directly impacts the success of their organizations…HSBC offers sincere congratulations to Trevor on leading the way with this IPO, and our best wishes for continued success.”


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