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Good Things HappenPodcast07 Jun 2022

Good Things Happen, Episode 5: The Changing Needs of Talent

The days of Wall Street firms being made up entirely of investment bankers and traders is over. But what really makes talent tick? And what drives them to join the companies that they do?

On this episode of “Good Things Happen,” we’re joined by Erika Irish Brown, Chief Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer and Global Head of Talent at Citi and Kevin Johnson, Chief of Staff at Citi’s Institutional Client Group.

In this discussion, Erika and Kevin talk through the changing needs of talent with the ever-evolving definition of “diversity” and how it fits into a modern Wall Street company like Citi.

The views expressed herein are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citigroup Global Markets Inc. or its affiliates. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. The expressions of opinion are not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results.

Erika is Citi’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer and Global Head of Talent, responsible for developing global diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and driving Citi’s agenda on talent planning, succession planning and leadership development. Prior to joining Citi, Erika was Chief Diversity Officer at Goldman Sachs from 2018 to 2021 and Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Bloomberg from 2015 to 2018. Prior to this, she led executive and diversity hiring efforts at Bank of America and Lehman Brothers. Erika's background includes a range of banking and finance roles, including Head of Business Development for Black Entertainment Television, Senior Associate in High Yield Capital Markets at Morgan Stanley and Senior Policy Analyst for Domestic Finance for the United States Department of the Treasury. She began her career as an Analyst in Public Finance at Lehman Brothers. Erika is Vice Chair of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and serves on the Board of the Riverside Hawks. Erika earned a BS in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Kevin Johnson has worked in financial services for the past 18 years. He has experience in investment banking, structuring, trading, and economic diplomacy. He joined Citigroup in 2017. He is currently the Chief of Staff to the CEO of the Institutional Clients Group where he is responsible for effective and efficient management of day-to-day business operations and successful execution of strategic projects. Prior to his current role, Kevin was an infrastructure investment banker in the Municipal Banking Division covering transportation clients. In this capacity, he provided advisory and underwriting services to issuers looking to fund large surface transportation capital programs for ports, toll roads, bridges, tunnels, and transit systems. Kevin was actively engaged in the people agenda by leading entry-level and experienced hire recruitment efforts as well as managing analyst and associates. He was a member of the Markets Underrepresented Minorities Committee working on improving diversity recruiting and retention. Kevin also represented the firm on the SIFMA Municipal Securities Committee. Before joining Citigroup, he worked as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan covering several state and local entities throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region, including the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of Philadelphia and its component enterprises (e.g., Gas Works and Water Department). In 2015 -2016, Kevin was a Senior Economic Advisor and Franklin Fellow at the U.S. Department of State where he worked on economic policy in Southeast Asia with a particular focus on infrastructure policy. He helped lead and launch U.S.-ASEAN Connect, announced by President Obama at the U.S.-ASEAN Summit in Sunnylands, CA. The initiative will strengthen the United States economic engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Member States in a range of areas including infrastructure development and financing, information and communications technology, trade policy, green energy, and entrepreneurship and innovation. Prior to moving into Public Finance banking in 2013, Kevin spent 8 years trading interest rate products at Bank of America and multi-strategy hedge fund Citadel LLC in New York and London. He is a Registered Representative of the NASD (Series 7, 53, 55, 63 and 79). Kevin received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University with majors in Economics and Sociology, his MSc in Finance from London Business School, and an M.P.A. from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He serves on the board of the Johns Hopkins Second Decade Society and the Late Congressman Elijah Cummings Youth Program.

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