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Waddell & Reed Celebrates International Women’s Day with CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ Pledge and Partnership with Rock The Street, Wall Street

Company Release - 3/8/2019 12:00 PM ET

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (NYSE: WDR) is pleased to announce the following actions as it advances its position as a values-based and purpose-driven organization:

  • CEO Philip J. Sanders signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge, acknowledging that the organization will act to cultivate trust, diversity, flexibility and understanding. The CEO Action pledge currently has been signed by more than 600 CEOs nationwide, representing 85 industries and more than 50 academic institutions or associations. By signing the pledge, Waddell & Reed will take specific actions to advance an open and empowering environment. According to ceoaction.com, research shows that diversity increases creativity and innovation, promotes higher quality decisions, and enhances economic growth. “Supporting an organization of diverse thoughts, perspectives, backgrounds and experiences is absolutely essential for us,” said Sanders. “We know that embracing our differences and creating a culture where everyone feels their uniqueness is valued and respected will only make us stronger. I am proud to make this pledge and partner with other firms to continually make advancements in the future.”
  • Celebrating International Women’s Day with a full day of events including a panel discussion featuring key leaders at the company. The panel, livestreamed to all employees across the country, focused on mentorship, leadership, opportunities and challenges faced by women in the workforce and the importance of having a Culture of Belonging. The panel participants included Joan Albeck, Chief Technology Officer; Beth Hansen, Broker-Dealer Chief Compliance Officer; Kim Scott, SVP, portfolio manager with subsidiary Ivy Investment Management Company; and Amy Scupham, President of subsidiary Ivy Distributors, Inc. “Through understanding and leveraging our diverse experiences, we can build a stronger culture, which leads to an enhanced outcome for our clients across all aspects of our business,” said Sanders.
  • And, becoming the first organization in the Kansas City metro area to partner with Rock The Street, Wall Street (RTSWS), a national, non-profit organization committed to attracting more young women to the field of finance. According to RTSWS, in the financial sector, women make up only 9% of mutual fund managers, 2.5% of hedge fund managers and 11.7% of senior private equity professionals. Through the partnership, Waddell & Reed will work with local high school students to deliver a curriculum that offers financial education through workshops, role modeling, mentoring and on-site office experiences. The partnership facilitates work with an innovative, national financial education program targeted to young women in grades 9 through 12. Waddell & Reed will offer field trips to its headquarters offices and help with the fall and spring curriculums focused on budgeting, learning financial basics, stocks and investing, career assessment and resume building. Waddell & Reed’s partnership with Rock The Street, Wall Street is the first in the firm’s headquarters metro area of Kansas City. Since its inception in 2013, RTSWS and partner organizations have educated 1,750 female high school students and those participants had an average increase of 97% in their comprehension of financial concepts and 67% state they are “very likely” or “extremely likely” to explore a major or minor in finance, economics or accounting. Waddell & Reed will partner with Rock The Street, Wall Street to encourage other financial services companies in Kansas City to join the partnership, creating more community business support to help increase diverse workforces in financial services-related industries.

These actions are part of a broader business and culture transformation that began in 2016. The company began the journey by establishing a clear Mission Statement and Core Values. All employees participated in a Learning Map Experience focused on driving better understanding of industry dynamics and greater alignment around the company’s Corporate Strategy. In addition, the company has developed a Leadership Model called ACTIVE Leadership and has completed extensive leadership development training, including Unconscious Bias training, Situational Leadership Experience and introducing a new performance management process called ACTIVE Performance and Growth.

A key part of this cultural advancement, according to executives, is implementing practices that align to the modern, diverse workforce and dynamic financial services industries of today where flexible and agile workplace practices are required. For example, the company recently implemented year-round weekly flexible work schedules, flexible vacation, enhanced paid parental/family caregiver leave, enhanced Short Term Disability and Paid Military Leave and recently implemented a casual work attire philosophy. In addition, an initiative called Culture Connections was recently launched for employee events focused on Diversity & Inclusion, Employee Appreciation, Philanthropy, Strategy & Values and Wellness. In fact, the company just completed its first ever Employee Appreciation Week with numerous recognition events throughout the week.

“We want to ensure our efforts are very tangible and transparent, both internally and externally,” said Brent Bloss, Chief Operating Officer. “These steps are actionable and illustrate our commitment to being a values-based and purpose-driven organization moving forward. We operate in a very dynamic, ever-changing environment, and we will continue to proactively implement practices, programs and approaches that deliver on that commitment.”

About CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. This commitment is driven by a realization that addressing diversity and inclusion is not a competitive issue, but a societal issue. Recognizing that change starts at the executive level, more than 600 CEOs of the world’s leading companies and business organizations, are leveraging their individual and collective voices to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ aims to rally the business community to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace by working collectively across organizations and sectors. It outlines a specific set of actions the undersigned companies will take to cultivate a trusting environment where all ideas are welcomed and employees feel comfortable and empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion. Visit ceoaction.com.

About Rock The Street, Wall Street

Rock The Street, Wall Street, founded in 2013, inspires and equips girls with skills to succeed financially throughout their lives and potentially pursue careers in finance. Girls learn about savings and investment, budgeting, the capital markets and their role in maintaining the welfare of their families and the economy, while simultaneously helping them see the real world application of the math content they learn in the classroom. Visit rockthestreetwallstreet.com.

About Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc.

Through its subsidiaries, Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. has provided investment management and financial planning services to clients throughout the United States since 1937. Its subsidiaries include Ivy Investments, an asset manager and distributor of investment products to retail and institutional clients; and Waddell & Reed, Inc., a broker-dealer with nationally based independent financial advisors. For more information, visit ir.waddell.com.

IVY INVESTMENTS℠ refers to the investment management and investment advisory services offered by Ivy Investment Management Company, the financial services offered by Ivy Distributors, Inc., a FINRA member broker dealer and the distributor of IVY FUNDS® mutual funds and IVY VARIABLE INSURANCE PORTFOLIOS®, and the financial services offered by their affiliates.

Roger Hoadley
VP, Communications
rhoadley@waddell.com

Source: Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc.

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