Around the Table Episode 1: Why Diversity and Inclusion is Important

Around the Table Episode 1: Why Diversity and Inclusion is Important

March 29, 2019

LPL Financial

Diversity and inclusion. It’s the right thing to do. For financial advisors, it’s also crucial to reaching an increasingly diverse client base — and understanding and meeting their needs.

Reach and Serve More Clients Through Diversity and Inclusion

“Around the Table,” LPL’s diversity series, kicks off with LPL leaders and financial advisors sharing their thoughts on why diversity and inclusion is important.

Society is changing demographically. To reach and serve new investor communities, financial advisors must understand their cultural norms and the factors that can help these prospective clients feel more comfortable discussing highly personal financial matters. This approach is key to forging meaningful, long-lasting client relationships.

Some clients will be more receptive to working with advisors from similar backgrounds. That makes a strong case for increasing diversity among financial advisors as well.

Learn more about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the financial services industry — and what it could mean for your practice.

You can also find out about diversity and inclusion at LPL.

Marci Bair: Clients should have representation. And everybody should have financial advice, good financial advice, solid financial advice, and financial planners that understand their community and can service them.

[Title sequence for Around the Table Episode 1]

Kathleen Zemaitis: So just share a little bit about why do you think diversity and inclusion is important.

Marci Bair: I think it's just the right thing to do. So first off, I think that clients should have representation. And everybody should have financial advice, good financial advice, [crosstalk] solid financial advice, and financial planners that understand their community and can service them. And so without a diverse advisor base, how could you do that? And without attracting those kind of clients, those clients are going unserved. So if we're not going to serve them, who will?

Wes Garner: I agree.

Jason Valle: I think it's a recognition too of us as advisors and as LPL as a whole that we have a society that's changing demographically, and we need to be able to reach that new demographic and serve them in whatever unique ways they need. I think it's extremely important.

Bobbie Meola: I think diversity is obviously, like you said, recognizing that we're different, but the inclusion part is celebrating those differences and bringing it together to leverage it to make us a stronger company.

Lee Bethel: I think having advisors that are diverse enables us to serve our respective communities even better because many of our communities need financial literacy. And in order to do that, a lot of those communities would be more receptive to someone who is like them.

Marci Bair: More culturally sensitive [crosstalk] to how they grew up. Grew up around money and how financial services were talked about in the household or not. [crosstalk]

Ye Su: That's the reality, which is constantly evolving. To a particular credit union like ours, our sponsors is the Walt Disney Company, which is by itself a very diverse organization. I mean, we're all over the world. If you look at our demographics or employee base, the cast members, every segment ... I mean, it's really all walks of life from every corner of the planet. So it really is just a no brainer. It really is something that needs to happen.

Marci Bair: Don't you guys also feel that because financial services is so personal, financial planning is so personal, that the client needs to feel comfortable? And so in order for us to really do our job, they've gotta be able to be relaxed, be their full self, and be comfortable in order to share so that we can do the proper financial planning. And we can't have those walls up and do our planning, and so they've got to feel comfortable when they come inside our offices.