Make us your home page

C1 Financial chief's role as first gay CEO of a publicly traded bank called historic, mundane

Trevor Burgess rang in the morning at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday and became the first openly gay chief executive of a publicly listed bank.

Burgess, who was joined by other members of St. Petersburg-based C1 Financial's leadership team, disclosed in the company's initial public offering filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that his husband, Gary Hess, held some shares. The federal government recognizes same-sex marriage; the state of Florida does not.

Openly gay chief executives are a rarity at the nation's 1,000 biggest companies. Though some may be assumed to be gay or out in their personal lives, none have spoken publicly. The chief executive of the publicly traded IGI Laboratories, Jason Grenfell-Gardner, is openly gay. Burgess, who also spent about 10 years at Morgan Stanley, said he had been openly gay since he was a teenager.

Todd Sears, the founder of Out Leadership, a strategic advising firm that focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender business opportunities, called Burgess's role both "historic and mundane."

"On the historic side, he's the first openly gay CEO of a publicly traded bank," Sears said. "On the mundane side, he's just another married CEO, with a daughter, who took a company public."

Burgess said he hoped he could be an example for young people who are interested in business.

"I can't play football or basketball, but I am good at business," he said. "Hopefully I can be a good role model."

John Browne, former chief of the oil company BP, said, "Role models like Trevor prove that being open and authentic is no barrier to success." Browne resigned in 2007 as chief after a British tabloid outed him under a headline that screamed "The TRUE story about Lord Browne — by ex-rent boy lover."

C1 Financial, ticker symbol BNK, is the parent company of C1 Bank. Its stock price held its own in its first day of trading Thursday, closely matching its initial asking price of $17 a share after some modest fluctuation in earlier trading.

Information from Times staff writers contributed to this report.

C1 Financial chief's role as first gay CEO of a publicly traded bank called historic, mundane 08/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, August 15, 2014 7:51am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.