Todd Sears

Founder and Principal, Out Leadership

Founder and Principal, Out Leadership

Todd Sears is the Founder and Principal of Out Leadership, a global strategic advising firm that connects leaders across the world’s most influential industries to create business opportunities, cultivate talent, and drive LGBT equality forward.

Out Leadership began with 6 founding member firms in 2011, and now counts 66 of the world’s leading companies as members. Out Leadership operates two industry-specific business initiatives: Out on the Street and Out in Law, and two cross-industry talent initiatives for LGBT leaders: OutNEXT, the first global leadership development program for the next generation of LGBT talent, and Quorum, which seeks to increase LGBT representation on corporate boards.

A former investment banker, Todd specialized in wealth management at Merrill Lynch, creating the first national team of financial advisors on Wall Street focused on the LGBT community, which brought over $1.4 billion of new assets to the firm.

Todd then moved into diversity leadership, pioneering diversity initiatives at Merrill Lynch and then at Credit Suisse, where he served as Americas Head of Diversity and Inclusion. Both organizations continue to be ranked among the top companies in the Fortune 500 by diversity organizations including Working Mother, Black MBA, and the Human Rights Campaign.

Todd works closely with senior leaders across industries to build business opportunity through diversity innovation. He regularly speaks at conferences and meetings around the globe to share this vision.

A graduate of Duke University and Woodberry Forrest School, Todd is also an active philanthropist and community leader. He is the founding co-chair of Jeffrey Fashion Cares, a fundraiser supporting LGBT civil rights, youth and HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, which has applied an innovative cost-structure to raise millions of dollars since its inception.

Todd is a senior advisor to Christopher Street Financial. He also serves on the non-profit boards of The Williams Institute of UCLA, The Palette Fund, and Lambda Legal. In 2014 he received Aid for AIDS International’s My Hero Award; in 2015 he received the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Paula L. Ettelbrick Award for achievements in advancing LGBT attorneys.