Jeffrey Brown who replaced now retired Michael Carpenter as CEO of Ally Financial in February 2015, recently sat down with the Observer to talk about his first year at the bank’s helm. Amongst other things, Brown spoke about the future of his company in Charlotte.
According to a report in The Charlotte Observer, Ally will increase the number of company-employed people from Charlotte by 800 to 900 or more. Although the company is based in Detroit, Charlotte is one of its corporate centres, housing many of Ally’s top executives.
Since his company hires a lot of people from Charlotte, Brown was asked about the controversial new North Carolina law House Bill 2 (HB2), that aims to restrict transgender people from using public rest-rooms according to the gender with which they identify. The law has been seen as a huge setback for the state of North Carolina, and Brown’s take is that it’s ‘unfortunate’ on all counts.
It’s been unfortunate for the city of Charlotte, it’s been unfortunate for the state of North Carolina, and it’s been unfortunate for our people that our government really can’t just embrace an open culture.
According to the report, Brown has introduced new employee benefits during his time as CEO, including 100 percent paid parental leave for up to three months. Other banks seem to have followed suit, and are rethinking their parental leave policies.
Meanwhile, Brown is also trying to lift the company’s stock price, after the bank’s finances took a hit during the financial crisis in 2008. The Wall Street Journal reports that Brown has compared raising stock prices to ‘turning the Titanic’, though he expects the ‘stock to trade up’.
It’s not easy turning the Titanic. It takes five, six years to get there. But I’d say we’re kind of in year four [or] five. Hopefully the world will get it. As we continue growing book value, I would fully expect the stock to trade up.