November 06, 2015

Joanna Symes: How we support Armed Forces veterans in the UK

Joanna Symes

Last year’s Remembrance Day in the UK broke fund-raising records and sent awareness of military veterans – on the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One – soaring. While those centenary celebrations have passed, there will always be a need to support veterans. We believe at BNY Mellon that businesses, including ours, should support our former military too.

Earlier this year, BNY Mellon signed the British Armed Forces Corporate Covenant to formalise our long-standing commitment to the military and attract men and women leaving the Armed Forces into our business.

At BNY Mellon, many of our employees are former military personnel or have family members who have served. We recognise that veterans joining the civilian workforce possess the skills and discipline that make them exceptional employees. Over the years, we have developed a programme to grow veterans’ professional skills and prepare them for a rewarding career in financial services.

Every October in the UK, we welcome soon-to-be-ex-service members as part of our Returning Military Programme. This six-week employment experience is designed to broaden veterans’ knowledge and understanding of the financial services industry and to grow their career management skills in the corporate environment. The programme also involves shadowing BNY Mellon colleagues and getting ‘thrown in’ to projects within our firm.

We also support veterans inside of BNY Mellon through VetNet, one of our Employee Resource Groups, which exists to promote the professional development and advancement of veterans and members of the broader military family. Today the programme has a membership of approximately 600 employees across six regional chapters in the U.S. and U.K.

At BNY Mellon, we are committed to enabling productive and meaningful post-military careers for veterans within our firm and to encourage other employers in the financial services to make veteran support a priority. It is one of the most important causes we, as an industry, can all get behind.