June 28, 2016

CEO Gerald Hassell on Corporate Social Responsibility’s Growth and Maturation

Gerald Hassell

In this year’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, BNY Mellon Chairman and CEO Gerald L. Hassell, reflects on how CSR has matured both at BNY Mellon and around the world since he arrived at The Bank of New York fresh out of college in 1973. We’ve excerpted part of his message below. Read his full letter here for more on how the new generation of employees is spurring corporations to increase their commitment to responsible behavior.

When I joined the company, CSR existed across the corporate world in a more nascent form. CSR activities were undefined and more about community philanthropy.

Various developments made us all more aware of the social and not just economic responsibilities of businesses, including the rise of environmental conservation efforts, the advance of the civil rights movement and the influence of world leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated for businesses to support society’s progress.

Over the past 15 years, BNY Mellon’s efforts have matured substantially. We set a goal of being a leader in corporate social responsibility, leveraging our unique position in the financial marketplace to improve the lives of countless people globally. We embraced commitments that help guide our behaviors ― from what we do, to how we invest. We identified the most material issues for our business. We subsequently streamlined our strategy, increased impact by focusing on business growth and supporting the stability of global financial markets, and enhanced our efforts to improve the lives of people in the communities we serve around the world.


  • our industry is more broadly recognizing its responsibility for creating a resilient, accessible financial system that people trust; and
  • the public and private sector are working together through innovative, collaborative partnerships to solve societal challenges.

To see more from BNY Mellon about how it’s improving lives through investing, follow the hashtag #WeAreInvested on Twitter.