By Ben Rooks, ST Advisors, Inc.
After spending ten years of my career as a sell-side equity research analyst and six years as an investment banker, I began ST Advisors as a way to do the work I loved while living my values, one of which is intellectual integrity (something that was often challenging in the two prior phases of my career). Another core value is working to have a sense of gratitude for the multiple areas of good fortune in my life.
From inception I decided that ST Advisors would support charities that matched my values, historically around women’s empowerment, education and entrepreneurship. To that end, I looked for charities that support these causes. A few years after ST Advisors began, I was fortunate to be joined by a like-minded partner who shared my belief in supporting some of the many worthy causes that exist. Over the years as ST has grown, we have increased the donations each year, deciding a few years ago to commit to donating at least 1% of ST Advisors’ revenues to a portfolio of charities that supported causes we believe are important and reflect our core values.
In researching a company prior to meeting its CEO recently, I saw it had the Pledge 1% logo on its website. Intrigued, I clicked through and learned this was a way to institutionalize our commitment and, more importantly, to try to inspire others to do the same. As a small professional services firm, ST Advisors is profoundly unlikely to have a liquidity event, making its equity irrelevant. We are, however, proud to have taken the 1% Pledge and will continue to donate 1% of revenues to charities whose work inspires us. To date these charities have included: