The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning launched in 2015 with a big vision – to ensure every American has access to competent and ethical financial planning advice. This vision can only become a reality with a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession. However, blacks and Latinos represent only 3.7 percent of all CFP® professionals.
To address this issue head on, the Center hosts annual Diversity Summits that provide a platform for a discussion of initiatives that can be undertaken by the Center, in partnership with stakeholders within financial planning and beyond, to advance racial diversity in the profession. The Summits brings together firms, academic institutions, partner organizations and CFP® professionals in a collective effort to create a more diverse profession through research, case studies, best practices and actionable initiatives.
2019 DIVERSITY SUMMIT
The 2019 Diversity Summit built upon the inaugural 2018 event with a focus on Accountability – highlighting the leadership of firms, academic institutions and partner organizations to create a more diverse profession – through case studies and best practices. The 380 attendees, reflecting increased attendance from last year, displayed strong enthusiasm for the program, with its robust lineup of speakers.
NEW REPORT: WHY DIVERSITY MATTERS
At the 2019 Summit, the Center released Why Diversity Matters: How Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Accelerate Business Success in Financial Services, a literature review that outlines why a diverse workforce is critical for both the financial planning profession and financial services firms. Through data compiled from a variety of research studies, the report shows that diversity leads to stronger sales revenue, customer growth, greater market share and higher profit levels.
The report also identifies four data-supported explanations for how diversity leads to stronger overall financial performance:
- Diverse organizations better serve diverse customers
- Diverse organizations can recruit better talent as they are more attractive to potential employees
- Diverse organizations are better at retaining talent given that employees in diverse companies are more satisfied and employee turnover is lower
- Diverse organizations are more creative and innovative because of the diverse environment
DOWNLOAD THE REPORT [PDF]
During a keynote session at the Summit, Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law, presented on the concept of covering. A white paper from Deloitte, Uncovering Talent, on which Professor Yoshino’s presentation was based is available for download here.
2018 DIVERSITY SUMMIT
The Center’s inaugural Diversity Summit was held in 2018 at The Times Center in New York City. More than 300 leaders from financial services firms, academic institutions and non-profit organizations, as well as current and aspiring CFP® professionals, attended the seminal event. The agenda included presentations by distinguished speakers, personal reflections from CFP® professionals of color, and facilitated breakout sessions that allowed attendees to work side-by-side on solutions to the profession’s lack of diversity. The Center also issued a call to action to stakeholders to get involved in tackling the diversity challenge in the profession using research-based recommendations from its thought leadership paper.
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP PAPER
At the Summit, the Center released Racial Diversity in Financial Planning: Where We Are and Where We Must Go, a thought leadership paper that outlines actionable solutions for industry stakeholders to create a more inclusive profession. The report was developed in consultation with the Center’s Diversity Advisory Group, and is based on findings from the Center’s comprehensive research study on the underrepresentation of blacks and Latinos in the financial planner workforce.
thought leadership paper [pdf]executive summary [pdf]full research report [pdf]