Jenny Brosseau: ‘Investing in Hispanic wealth is investing in our country’
Jenny Brosseau, head of Diverse Customer Segments for Consumer and Small Business Banking at Wells Fargo, discusses how Hispanics are changing America’s economic and cultural landscape.
As one of the fastest growing, and largest, ethnic groups in the United States, Hispanics are a significant contributor to the country's financial stability, and their financial success is directly tied to the country’s overall economic well-being. But while Hispanics are experiencing stronger income growth and more are moving into their prime earning years, there are still opportunities to eliminate barriers to generational wealth and close the existing wealth gap.
As the head of Diverse Customer Segments for Consumer and Small Business Banking at Wells Fargo, Jenny Brosseau and her team spend their days understanding the financial needs of diverse communities and developing strategies and solutions that will empower them economically. When it comes to the Hispanic community, the team is focused on helping make sustainable wealth-building a reality through financial education, homeownership, entrepreneurship, and access to capital.
We talked with Brosseau about how she sees Hispanics contributing to the economy and what Wells Fargo is doing to help them through all stages of their financial journey.
Q: What does your team do?
Our team is focused on creating educational opportunities and programs that will help our consumer lines of business serve the unique needs of diverse customers across the financial spectrum — from low- to moderate-incomes to those in the emerging affluent and affluent populations, as well as small businesses. We’re also keenly focused on using data and analytics, and direct customer feedback, to understand what each community needs so we can deliver real-world financial solutions. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so we’re constantly working to meet our customers where they are, so they have the best possible experience and get the financial help they’re looking for.
Q: Why does that work matter for Hispanic consumers?
Our work in the Hispanic community is similar to other diverse populations. We are focused on delivering access to services and programs that propel them toward greater financial health.
From low- to moderate-income to affluent, our goal is to provide financial education and an understanding of how to build and maintain wealth for all Hispanics. That’s important because they represent more than half of the nation's population growth and more than 80% of labor force growth. And because they’re trending younger, with a median age of 30, and are generating wealth at higher rates than ever before, we’re seeing an emerging affluent cohort that will have a powerful economic impact in the near future.
We also partner with groups like the Hispanic Wealth Project (HWP), a nonprofit whose sole mission is to empower Hispanics financially and educationally.
Q: How do partners like HWP help Wells Fargo connect with the Hispanic customers?
We work with HWP to develop financial education opportunities in the Hispanic community. This year, we’ll partner on multiple live events and webinars designed to help Hispanics increase their financial knowledge. We also provide tools and educational resources to their Certified Trainers, who are real estate professionals who serve as financial influencers in their communities. We also recently worked with them to develop a resource page that puts consumers a click away from financial and wealth-building education, information, and tools, like Wells Fargo’s Financial Health Hub, which is available in English and Spanish.
Q: How has your personal background influenced your work?
As a Hispanic woman, I am very aware of the opportunities to close the wealth gap in the Hispanic community. Growing up, I was fortunate to have a mother who instilled strong educational and work ethic values in me, but money wasn’t a regular topic of conversation. And very early in my career, I realized that the tools to help build financial expertise were out there, but I didn’t know about them or where to look. I knew I would have to be proactive to learn how to save, invest, and manage money. Providing easier access to tools and education is a passion for me.
Now, like many Hispanics, I feel an obligation to pass what I’ve learned down to my son. He’s just graduating from high school and is already light years ahead of where I was. I still see opportunities to help the Hispanic community build their own wealth and prepare the next generation for a more secure financial future.
Q: What impact will closing the wealth gap have?
As an example, housing accounts for over 16% of the U.S. GDP, and currently 8.3 million Hispanics age 45 and under are mortgage-ready, but not homeowners. The impact closing that gap will have on the economy is undeniable. But just as important, the impact on Hispanic communities will be generational because it builds the kind of financial stability that lends itself to long-term wealth building.
The bottom line is that investing in Hispanic wealth is investing in our country and our economy. When we all have equal access to financial tools, education, and resources, we all make more informed choices, we all feel more invested in our communities and our neighbors, and we all have a chance to prosper. That’s about as meaningful an impact as we can have.