Robert Tull might be described as the financial architect for LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings. He prefers “mentor.” When the LGBTQ Loyalty team first approached him, Tull said it was his “inner professor” who jumped at the opportunity. “I’m old school,” he says, so seeing the contribution his market expertise would make, he simply could not say no.

Tull, though, is not an educator, but a highly skilled and successful financial leader, and a globally recognized expert in the exchange-traded fund (ETF) market. In 2018, he was recognized with The Nate Most Greatest Contributor to the ETF Market. Tull has schooled countless undergraduates and graduates on the ETF market. The team at LGBTQ Loyalty would become his newest students.

Tull came on board because he knew he had a lot to bring to the table about the marketplace and that his background was needed if it was going to work. And he also relished the opportunity to build an index that truly represented the LGBTQ community. His business partner at Procure Holdings, LLC, Andrew Chanin, took up the challenge of the concept of a preference index for the LGBTQ community, whereby its members would contribute to the constituent selection process.

Now he is excited to see the project in action. What especially appeals to him about the new venture is that the preference index allows the LGBTQ community itself to choose the companies from the list. Tull feels LGBTQ people have had a longstanding “lack of status in the financial community” but now they would “contribute to the underlying stock selection process. This was so intriguing. I have worked on a lot of indexes during my career, but I’d never had one with a target community.” Getting involved, he said, “was just the right thing to do.”

Tull, who played a critical role in the launch of the first ETFs that provided access to international, country-specific indexes, is pleased to see that LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings is also looking at the marketplace from an international perspective.

“That LGBTQ Loyalty has the desire to extend its preference index ideas beyond the USA is wonderful,” he said.

There has also, of course, been discrimination. Beyond exclusion, Tull feels some companies have actively worked against the LGBTQ community in the international financial markets. “There are approximately 72,000 listed companies in the developed markets,” he says, “and how many don’t know the community in any way, shape or form?” In fact, he says, “frankly some have even targeted the community.”

That’s why what pleases Tull the most is that “this is something the community can call its own. This is our index. That personal ownership is integral to making the difference.”

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