TV show, Billions on Showtime is about characters that exemplify the narcissism, consumerism, and greed that can be associated with the wealth created on Wall Street. If Showtime were to do a show about Roberts and Ryan, a broker owned by a disabled veteran, the network would instead have the opportunity to shine a light on patriotism, generosity and compassionate leadership.
Recently, I had the privilege of meeting with two of their exuberant and heart-centered leaders, Brian Rathjen, President, and Pete Clarke, Senior Director, to discuss the unique corporate culture and social mission. “Service” was at the heart of everything we discussed, including delivering high levels of performance and top-notch support to Fortune 1000 companies, private equity firms and asset managers that they support. At the same time, their team works tirelessly to give back to veterans and their families. Rathjen’s five favorite words are: “How can I help you?” which he attributes to his “donor” parents. Clarke comes from a military family and met Rathjen at the Naval Academy.
The company was founded with the noble purpose of creating a financial engine that could donate a large percentage of its profits to veteran-worthy causes in the areas of mental health, wellness and career transition. The company gives more money to these nonprofit partners than it pays out in bonuses, including the first year the company lost money. To date they have donated over $1.5 million and last year gave away 25% of their profits. Rathjen and Clarke know the need to support our heroes cannot be met by government alone and want to encourage other leaders to step up and get creative about how they can help these remarkable families. They say that giving service in this way is extremely rewarding personally and boosts the morale of their team.
For example, the Roberts & Ryan Foundation and Robert Irvine partnership provides American veterans who have lost their mobility on active duty with the IBOT wheelchair, produced by Mobius Mobility. Unlike other wheelchairs, the IBOT offers its user a multimodal mobility experience, including all-terrain accessibility, a direct view of others, and the ability to climb or descend stairs. One of the recipients is finishing his studies at Harvard Medical School and the IBOT will allow him to better practice medicine. Watch a heartwarming video showing another of the recipients learning that they are receiving this life-changing technology from celebrity chef and philanthropist Robert Irvine:
Both Rathjen and Clarke are very proud patriots and Navy veterans. They define the patriot as an inclusive person, proud of this country, who wants to help his fellow citizens and values the freedoms we enjoy. They like to employ a diverse team that includes over 50% veterans with an average of 25 years of experience. Their segments include Institutional Equity Trading, Equity Capital Markets, Debt Capital Markets, Public Finance, Mortgage and Asset Backed Capital Markets and Alternative Investments. In addition to donating to causes that benefit veterans and their families, they have also begun supporting youth and young adult initiatives to bridge the opportunity gap. They are looking for new customers who want to be part of their mission and you can find out more about all of their partnerships and donations here.
Inspired by the generosity of Rathjen and Clarke and our shared goal of supporting young people, I am offering full, need-based scholarships for Dream Lab for Teens, which launches July 25.e. This program helps compassionate future leaders ages 13-18 stop worrying about the future by creating it, finding new friends, and developing purpose. Here is the scholarship application. Also, to honor all who have served this country, anyone can use code VETS20 to get 20% off tuition starting this holiday weekend as we celebrate the founding of our country.
And if you happen to work for Showtime, consider creating a show about compassionate leaders like Roberts and Ryan who can inspire the next generation to lead with love and serve their country, whether that’s in the military, supporting military families, or in other purpose-aligned ways.