Josean Y. Fernandez ’06, Alumnus
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Josean Y. Fernandez ’06 has always been inspired by diverse people, cultures and perspectives. This is just as true in his financial services career today, as it was when he was a student leader at Bloomfield College.
“I remember that the most unique thing at Bloomfield was its diversity,” said Fernandez. “After the murder of George Floyd, many institutions made statements about diversity and equity, but Bloomfield College has been focused on diversity, equity and inclusion for a very long time. In class and out of class, we were always thinking about diverse programs. Bloomfield College is ahead of the curve on diversity and the opportunities it presents for organizations.”
Born in Puerto Rico, Fernandez grew up in Vineland where he played baseball. “I had good grades and always had a focus on going to college. A former Bloomfield College assistant coach recruited me, and it turned out to be a great choice,” he said. “I had received scholarship offers from many much larger schools, but Bloomfield provided me with the best package for closing the wealth gap. I was able to graduate debt-free, and the small campus environment, close to the train station, was also just the right fit for me.”
While a student, Fernandez played baseball for the Bears, and also served as president of Alpha Chi National Honor Society, as a student ambassador and a resident assistant for Honors Program residents. He said, “Each of my extracurricular roles at the College provided me with amazing opportunities to learn how to drive ideas and programming. Bloomfield was small enough to easily execute on an idea. At larger schools, you had to get tons of approvals. At Bloomfield, I always received a ‘yes’ for what I wanted to do.”
Fernandez said his outside-the-classroom activities, which included an internship with then-Mayor of Bloomfield, Ray McCarthy, helped him gain leadership and public speaking skills. “These are all valuable skill sets I took with me into my professional career. The College’s proximity to New York City where I could take a train and be there in 35-40 minutes opened many doors to new experiences. When you package all of that, Bloomfield gave me an inspiring learning opportunity.”
In June 2012, Fernandez was invited to serve on the Bloomfield College Board of Trustees which was interested in bringing a diverse perspective to the Board’s work. He served with distinction through February 2020, and also served as the Board’s Executive Chairman of the Student Affairs Committee.
“I wanted to give back to the school that did so much for me. In serving on the Board, I gained as much as I contributed,” said Fernandez. “It was impactful hearing from the BCSG president about how students were feeling and discussing trends was very motivating. The two combined enabled us as a Board to adjust and be responsive to student needs.”
In addition to his contributions of time and talent, Fernandez generously gave to the Franklin Street Residence Hall fundraising initiative in 2014. In acknowledgement, a room in the residence hall is named in his honor.
Today, Fernandez serves as Head of National Accounts at Ariel Investments, the first African-American-owned asset management firm in the country. At Ariel, he leads existing partnerships and builds new intermediary relationships within the wealth segment. Earlier, he was a Director at BlackRock and Head of Strategic Accounts for Latin America and U.S. Offshore clients, and served on its Executive committee of SOMOS-Latinx Business Resource Group. Previously, he was Managing Director and Head of Global Private Bank Strategic Accounts with Oppenheimer Funds where he partnered in building an award-winning Global Private Bank distribution group and served as Founder and President of the Latino Professionals Network-Business Resource Group. Earlier in his career, he was a Regional Director with Neuberger Berman.
Fernandez is a well-regarded and respected professional in the financial services industry. Crain’s New York Business recently named Fernandez to its list of 2022 Notable Hispanic Leaders in Business. The Alumni Society, the only private network of Latino leaders who graduate from the country’s top universities, named Fernandez to its Class of 2019 as one of 20 notable Hispanics.
“I am humbled to be alongside other Hispanic executives who are shaping companies, communities and institutions into diverse leaders within their field,” said Fernandez. “In one of my newest ventures in serving on the DIME [Diversity Investment Management Engagement] Board, I am a part of the organization’s invitation to 11th-12th grade students to learn about the financial industry and teach them financial literacy to help build a new generation of minority investors.”
Fernandez completed a dual MBA from Columbia Business School and London Business School and holds a B.S. in Finance from Bloomfield College. He is a CAIA charter holder and holds Series 7, 24, 63 and 3 licenses. Additionally, he is a member of CAIA’s New York City Chapter, a Fellow at the Economic Club of New York which requires sponsorship by a club member in good standing, serves on the board of DIME, and co-chaired the Money Management Institute’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee to work strategically on how to bring diverse talent into the financial services industry.
“In the finance industry, we know very keenly of the importance in investing in diverse perspectives in our organizations. The Latino community, in particular, is an incredibly powerful demographic bringing trillions of dollars to the gross national product. As a Latino representing a diverse community, I am excited about the future of this important segment. I know that the support I received at Bloomfield College early on led me down this path, and I feel grateful,” he said.