Former CEO of Natixis, John Hailer, has long been at the forefront of the fight against student loan debt. Hailer rose to prominence as the CEO of Natixis where he worked diligently to understand the impact of student debt as well as the company-focused approach to addressing the issue. Now the current Chairman of Diffractive Managers Group, Hailer is looking back at his research to better vocalize the impact of student debt and how loan forgiveness can lead to change in the future for everyone involved.
Importance of an Education
For the longest time, a college education has been almost synonymous with higher-paying work, better access to job opportunities, and the chance to create the career path of your choosing. Former exec at Natixis John Hailer saw first-hand how student debt could immediately cripple any of those potential dreams and outcomes.
According to a report compiled in 2022, nearly half of all United States students have left college with some level of student debt, ranking second to just mortgages in terms of commonality. Further research performed by John Hailer revealed that student loan debt totaled more than $28,950 per person, equating to roughly $1.75 trillion overall. The majority of this debt fell firmly into the student loan category.
Across the past ten years, former business leader at Natixis John Hailer has watched as student loan debt has increased by more than $78 billion annually.
Important Recent Developments
While the COVID-19 pandemic did precious little in terms of positive outcomes, it did showcase the importance of student loan forgiveness for over-burdened borrowers. At the beginning of March 2020, the federal government of the United States declared a pause on most student loan repayments. The temporary freeze was set to expire in May of 2022 but was then extended into August.
The Biden Administration would then announce the Student Debt Relief Plan as part of a three-piece initiative designed to help borrowers as they transition back to regular repayments on their student loans. The program launched by the Biden Administration included an additional $20,000 in potential loan forgiveness.
Making Changes at Natixis
Even as the United States government makes moves to address student loans, leaders like John Hailer are tackling the issue on their own. Hailer was part of a team that initiated a student loan repayment plan for members of Natixis that had been with the company for at least five years while operating in a full-time capacity.
The introduction of the program was formative in helping to change the retirement planning for an entire workforce. Hailer stated in an interview with Boss Magazine, “We saw how as a business we could make an immediate impact in the lives of our employees while also demonstrating how the corporate world as a whole can move the needle in a big way.”
Hailer went on to say, “We did this as a company because it was the right thing to do. And it quickly became a competitive advantage that played a role in both employee retention and recruiting.”