Robert J. McCann has been announced as the gold medal recipient by the American Irish Historical Society for 2012. He will be presented with the medal at the annual banquet in November at the Waldorf-Astoria.
McCann has been CEO of Wealth Management Americas and member of the Group Executive Board at UBS since October 27, 2009, and also has been CEO of UBS Group Americas since December 2011.
McCann is the founder of the McCann Learning Center at Bethany College and the McCann Investment Fund. The McCann Learning Center provides support for students with learning disabilities or other difficulties, while the Investment Fund helps students understand the stock market by making real investments
McCann served as the president of the Global Wealth Management Group of Merrill Lynch until January 2009. He also served as an executive vice president at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. from August 2003 to January 2009, and served as its president of Global Private Client Segment from June 2, 2005.
A committed philanthropist, he is a member of the board of the American Ireland Fund and has donated generously to many of its charities.
McCann was deeply involved in the Northern Ireland Mentoring Program, which brings promising students from Northern Ireland to the U.S. and allows them to work with major companies here.
He has also worked hard to find funding for cross-community educational projects in Northern Ireland after he learned that kids as young as six begin to display religious prejudice.
McCann was initially responsible for bringing Sesame Street to Northern Ireland, where the show filmed 20 different episodes especially aimed at Northern Irish kids.
McCann traces his family roots back to Belfast. His great great grandfather emigrated from there, first to Scotland and then to Western Pennsylvania and worked in a mill.
AIHS President General Dr. Kevin Cahill stated, “Bob McCann is the embodiment of a successful Irish American who has given back both to his heritage and his country. He is a deeply committed philanthropist and has played a significant role in ensuring that peace in Northern Ireland will endure. We are delighted to honor and acknowledge him.”
Previous gold medal honorees have included President Ronald Reagan, Bono, John Cardinal O'Connor and Coca-Cola President Donald R. Keough.