financially stable. They’ve got the money. So firms [in theindustry] need to focus on that. A lot of people [when they dobusiness] like to work with those they look like. That’s goingto drive the future.
There’s also the work we’re doing with colleges and gettingstudents to understand that this is a great industry with somany opportunities — from product sales to financial advising,financial planning and more.
If you educate them at that level, even at the high schoolage, you’re going to start seeing more women coming into thisindustry. It’s no longer [associated with] “The Wolf of WallStreet.” It’s now the place where more people want to be, andthey’re seeing that they can really have an enriching and satisfying career.
RUDIN: It’s really a confluence of everything happening atthe right time. Women [can] enter wealth management — andI agree with everything Cheryl’s saying and as I was sayingearlier — women have the skills to do so; they’re not beingheld back.
When [Cheryl and I] were growing up, we were probablyheld back in terms of the fields we were encouraged to go into.Back then, it was fields like human resources, marketing orsupport functions.
All of that has been really pushed aside. In my lifetime,
Everything is not coding in technology. Cheryl and I are not
coders, but we could still be in technology. It’s the advance of
technology that has really leveled the playing field for men
As a mother of millennials and next generation [adults],I have a lot of hope and confidence in the next generation.They’re not carrying forward a lot of the same attitudes andprejudices that are in our generation.
NASH: We’re helping pave that way. Everybody knows nowthat it’s really important to have diverse thinking.
Without diverse thinking in the room, you get the exactsame background, thinking and skill set. You don’t get to thereal crux of what you need to do to be strategic or even toproblem solve.
That’s another reason why diversity is starting to make a bigplay, because you do need to have diverse thought to be successful. There are a number of data points that prove that.
Janet Levaux is editor-in-chief of Investment Advisor. She can be reached email@example.com.
ress, driven by younger, diversified entrepreneurs. As thisgeneration grows their businesses, and as other diversifiedtalent ascend in bigger businesses, diversity will be the norm,not the exception.
For folks who are on the cusp of breaking into the wealthmanagement industry as entrepreneurs with new ideas, thesekey messages are for you:
1. Wealth management wants to help: There are companiesand individuals in the industry that want to help diversegroups start and grow their own business, including private equity investors who can’t necessarily make theirintentions public.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask businesses you’re looking to partner with if they can help or point you in the directionof someone who is looking to invest capital into eitherminority-owned or diversity-minded firms. You may besurprised to hear that they are ready, able and willing tohelp in ways they’re not publicly advertising.
3. The industry is ready for you: Asset-Map pledged half
of ticket sales from their Advice Tech.LIVE event to the
CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning’s Diversity
and Inclusion Initiative, which provides education and
mentorship programs. Don’t be afraid to engage organi-
zations to ask how you can network with their members
and take advantage of their resources.
4. The industry needs your help: For those who are braveenough to come in and live by example, you’ll find thatwe’ve been waiting for you.
Even writing this piece — as a female president in theindustry with a diverse network — I found it difficult to comeby actionable resources to point readers in the right direction. If you reach out to share your initiatives — even to thiswriter — the industry will embrace it.
As we reflect more than a year later, it’s hard to admit thatmeasurable change is lacking, nor is it quick.
We must support young, diversified businesses early towelcome the next generation of talent into the industry, aswell as into our own businesses. Because it won’t be untilwe can quantitatively measure results that we can honestlydeclare that change occurred.
Until then, we must hold ourselves accountable and support each other. We must acknowledge that change doesnot come without challenge. And we must continue tostrive to be more than just the sum of our words.—Kirsten Plonner, president of FiComm Partners