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John Barrett Receives Key to the City

Western & Southern Financial Group •
John Barrett with Mayor Aftab Pureval

Immediately following Western & Southern’s annual State of the Business meeting, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval took the stage to surprise Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer John F. Barrett and associates in the audience. The mayor presented Barrett with an official key to the city for his dedication and passion for Cincinnati.

“I want to take a moment to celebrate your leader, John Barrett, for his decades of exceptional leadership and vision, both for Western & Southern and our entire region,” said Mayor Pureval. “Community impact starts with growth, and John has taken Western & Southern from a $5 billion door-to-door life insurance company to a world-class financial services powerhouse. The company’s success has helped put Greater Cincinnati on the map.”

Under John Barrett’s leadership, Western & Southern passionately supports Greater Cincinnati. In 2023, the Alpaugh Family Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati published an economic impact study that calculated Western & Southern’s total economic impact in the community to be $27.4 billion.

Barrett comes from a storied Cincinnati family with deep roots in the city. His father, Dr. Charles M. Barrett, served as the chairman, president and CEO of Western & Southern while establishing Cincinnati as a leader in radiation oncology and tumor service at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. 

“When we were little kids, (he) would take us around and show us the history of the city,” said Barrett. “His family landed here in 1853, penniless, and they started a butcher shop. Over the years, that turned into one of the largest meat packers in America.”

John Barrett joins an elite list of the city’s key holders, including Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, international soccer player Rose Lavelle, actor Robert Redford and many more Cincinnati icons.