Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern) executives Jill McGruder and Edward J. Babbitt were featured in LEADERS magazine’s second edition of 2019. In the Q&A article, titled “A Human Institution Serving Human Needs,” McGruder and Babbitt provided insights into Western & Southern’s culture and hometown, the financial services industry, and the company’s philanthropic activity.
When asked what makes Western & Southern different, McGruder, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, emphasized that behind the company’s success is a culture second to none. In explaining Western & Southern’s purpose-driven approach, she said that ever since the company’s founding more than 130 years ago, it has been a “human institution serving human needs.” That tagline describes both Western & Southern’s business – its reason for being – and its Cincinnati-focused philanthropic efforts.
Babbitt, vice president and senior counsel of Western & Southern and secretary and treasurer of the Western & Southern Financial Fund, added that the company’s philanthropic foundation is focused in the areas of health research, higher education and other initiatives critical to the community. For example, Western & Southern is the fourth largest supporter of United Way in the Greater Cincinnati Area despite being its 30th largest employer.
Questions about Cincinnati touched on attracting talent and the relationships among business leaders. McGruder described Cincinnati’s wonderful quality of life and how appealing it is to young people. Babbitt attributed Cincinnati’s progress to the vision of the business community and a long history of its leaders working together for the betterment of the city.
McGruder discussed the value the insurance industry delivers and the difficulty in getting that message out. Babbitt agreed and said he is working to educate legislators and others on the importance of the industry.
LEADERS magazine, founded in 1978, is a worldwide magazine that shares leadership thoughts and visions through profile interviews with world leaders, heads of state, chairmen, CEOs and leading executives of multinational corporations.
About Western & Southern Financial Group
Founded in Cincinnati in 1888 as The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. (Western & Southern), a Fortune 500 company, is now the parent company of a group of diversified financial services businesses. Its assets owned ($51.6 billion) and managed ($23.3 billion) totaled $74.9 billion as of Dec. 31, 2018. Western & Southern is one of the strongest life insurance groups in the world. Its seven life insurance subsidiaries (The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, Columbus Life Insurance Company, Gerber Life Insurance Company, Integrity Life Insurance Company, The Lafayette Life Insurance Company and National Integrity Life Insurance Company) maintain very strong financial ratings. Other member companies include Eagle Realty Group, LLC; Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc.;1 IFS Financial Services, Inc.; Touchstone Advisors, Inc.;1 Touchstone Securities, Inc.;2 W&S Brokerage Services, Inc.;2 and W&S Financial Group Distributors, Inc. Western & Southern is the title sponsor of six major community events every year, including the Western & Southern Open, a premier event in the U.S. Open Series played each August by the world’s top-ranked professional male and female tennis players.