Gay bank chief urges others to come out
The chief executive of a leading private bank has said that more gay professionals should find the courage to come out at work.
Robert Taylor, the chief of Kleinwort Benson, wrote in the Evening Standard yesterday that he had been frank about his sexuality since the beginning of his career.
Mr Taylor wrote: “I was determined to be open about my sexuality. I did not want to lie or be the subject of gossip.
“I never felt that telling my colleagues about it would be an invitation to bullying. In fact, it was the opposite: I didn’t want anyone to embarrass themselves”
He said that throughout his career, he had “paraded” his partner at work events as they figured out how to fit in.
Mr Taylor wrote: “By 2000, I was running the front office of Coutts, a very social bank. During one year I managed 94 client events: I was encouraged to invite my partner to most of them. While the social year was exhausting, I cannot remember one client or staff member being uncomfortable with my sexuality.”
He said he did not want to criticise closeted City colleagues but added: “I cannot help but wish that these people had the confidence to get the whole sexuality issue off their chests and move on.
“I work with some of the most intelligent people in the world: I can only say that most are sophisticated enough to have little problem with homosexuality.”
Conversely, former BP chief Lord Browne said last week he had remained in the closet for decades because it was “unacceptable” to be gay in business.
Lord Browne, who was outed in 2007 after lying in court about when he met a former lover, told the Sunday Times: “I always say to myself, if I’d come out, I could have done more.”