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Education, Social Responsibility Keys To Good Business

For The Heights

Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01


Robyn Kim / Heights Staff

“The world changes so fast, so incredibly fast right now, that you can’t stop learning,” said Dan Fitzpatrick, the Citizens Bank’s president for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, and the father of a senior at Boston College. “One thing we emphasize when we recruit good people is you have to continue to learn.”

Fitzpatrick opened his mind to a group of graduate and undergraduate students interested in finance and the social responsibility of business last Friday in the Fulton Honors Library. Fitzpatrick was invited as the second to last speaker for this fall’s “Lunch with a Leader” series, sponsored by the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics.

After receiving a B.S. in Business Administration from LaSalle University and an MBA from Drexel University, Fitzpatrick became both a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst. Fitzpatrick has 20 years of experience in the private client business and has held leadership roles at some of the leading institutions in wealth management, including J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and BNY Mellon. In addition, Fitzpatrick holds series seven and 63 licenses from the National Association of Security Dealers.

Fitzpatrick began his speech at the roots. Growing up in a religious family, Fitzpatrick’s career started as a public accountant in Philadelphia, his hometown. Then he realized his interest in finance and made a quick transition to banking from auditing.

Fitzpatrick then went on to speak about the importance of combining the business of banking with the service of banking to the community. Fitzpatrick recalled that when he was young, no one within his family could give him path suggestions, so he was thankful for those that helped him and decided to pay back the favor. He applauded BC for its contribution to the community.

“A reason that Boston College is great is that you focus on business, and you focus on education, and you couple that with Jesuit tradition of commitment to service.” he said. “We can’t succeed on our own, and it’s our duty to give it back when we make it.”

Fitzpatrick also spoke of problems in education and their effect on the workforce in general.

“How do we have eight-percent unemployment rate and workforce shortage? We have a skill gap,” he said.

He mentioned that the biggest business challenge that employers are currently facing is workforce shortage, saying that the problem challenges America to maintain global leadership in education. Many unemployed citizens seeking jobs do not have as many necessary skills to handle the work as former generations do. “The adult literacy rate in Philadelphia is only 45 percent,” Fitzpatrick pointed out. According to Fitzpatrick, maintaining America’s leadership position in the world of business relies heavily on education at all levels.

After his remarks, Fitzpatrick answered a few questions regarding accounting majors, loans to small businesses, job opportunities, Citizens Bank’s relationship with RBS, and how firms lost money purposely to earn more. He ended his talk with a suggestion of the importance for social business to be profitable. “If people donate to me and get no return, it’s not fair and won’t be sustainable.”

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