John F. Barrett is one of Ohio’s most determined advocates for economic development, education, healthcare and the arts. As chairman, president and chief executive officer of Western & Southern Financial Group, Mr. Barrett serves on a wide range of boards and is highly active in the business and non-profit communities.
Founded in Cincinnati in 1888 as The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern) is a Fortune 500 company and the parent company of a group of diversified financial services businesses operating in all 50 states with approximately 4,000 employees and over 52,000 individuals licensed to sell its products and services nationwide. It is a recognized leader in consumer and business financial services, providing life and health insurance, annuities, mutual funds, investment management, financial planning and retirement solutions through its member companies.
Mr. Barrett joined Western & Southern in 1987 as its chief financial officer. He was named president in 1989, chief executive officer in 1994 and chairman in 2002. He is a director and past chairman of the American Council of Life Insurers, a member of The Business Roundtable, a member of The Financial Services Roundtable, and a trustee for Americans for the Arts. He also serves as a member of the Board of Overseers for the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. He is past president of the Association of Ohio Life Insurance Companies and a member and past chairman of the Ohio Business Roundtable.
He serves on the board of directors of CINTAS Corporation. His past board memberships include The Andersons, Inc., Cincinnati Bell, Convergys Corporation, Fifth Third Bancorp and Touchstone Investment Trusts.
A very active leader in the rejuvenation of downtown Cincinnati, Mr. Barrett also launched the United Way Women’s Leadership Council to increase giving among top female contributors. In addition, he founded The Herbert R. Brown Society in Cincinnati to encourage greater African American engagement with the local United Way.
Dozens of Cincinnati area organizations and community causes benefit from his civic leadership. He is currently spearheading a $105 million fund-raising campaign to help the University of Cincinnati’s Barrett Cancer Center and other members of the Cincinnati Cancer Consortium pursue National Cancer Institute designation for cancer research excellence.