Clinton Global Initiative: Western Union Announces NGO Global Pay

Sep 25, 2012 1:20 PM ET

Alice Korngold's blog

"We’re going to solve social problems using our unique geographic reach and our products and services,” Hikmet Ersek, president and CEO of Western Union, said to Luella Chavez D’Angelo last year when he established the company’s new social ventures initiative and asked her to lead it. Ersek and D’Angelo shared their memories of that conversation with me this morning at Clinton Global Initiative, along with their plans going forward.

Western Union facilitates money transfers for individuals and businesses through its 510,000 locations in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. So the company had already been playing a leading role in reducing global poverty by serving as a vehicle for migrants sending money back home. As a migrant from humble beginnings himself, who sent money back home to his father in Turkey, Ersek has always identified with the company’s customers.

Yet Ersek was determined to expand Western Union’s products and services to drive additional revenue streams while also solving new problems around the planet. “More than two billion people are financially underserved in this world. This is an opportunity, a necessity, and a privilege to create financial products for the underserved,” he said.

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About Korngold Consulting LLCFounded by Alice Korngold in 2005, the firm’s mission is to develop corporate and NGO/nonprofit leaders and boards for a better world. Korngold Consulting provides strategy consulting services to global corporations on CSR and leadership development, including training and placing hundreds of corporate executives on NGO/nonprofit boards; and board governance consulting services to global, national, and regional nonprofits, including universities and healthcare institutions. Korngold is the author of “Leveraging Good Will: Strengthening Nonprofits by Engaging Businesses” (Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint, 2005) and blogs for Fast Company.