Corporate America continues to struggle with issues of diversity and the promotion of Black people and other minorities atop the corporate ladder. In the wake of the recent racial unrest in the U.S. precipitated by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other reported incidents of police killings of unarmed Black men, there has been some reflection on the need to invest in the Black community.
Also, companies are restructuring their corporate structure to diversify its top leadership. Amazon recently announced moves to double its Black leadership by 2021. One sector in corporate America that has less diversity is the wealth management space. Traditionally, the sector is dominated by white men, which has made improving diversity a daunting task.
However, the recruitment of two African Americans by financial giant Morgan Stanley in its wealth management space is bringing diversity to a sector dominated by white men. Isaac Richard III, 27 and Dominique Jordan, 29, work as advisers for Morgan Stanley.
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The feat makes them the youngest ever Black partners. “We’re a CFO for high net-worth families if you will. It’s a relationship-based practice helping clients protect and grow their assets while engaging all of their other professional relationships and strategic partners,” Isaac told Black Enterprise.
The global wealth management space was worth $486.78 billion in 2019. However, the sector retains little or no Black talent. According to the Black duo, they are working to change the narrative on the lack of diversity in the wealth management space. “There are too few of us and that has to change.”
“There is hardly an industry that cannot take recent events, and learning, seriously enough to prepare for a rapidly changing future, which includes the participation of Black people on an equitable level,” Isaac, who grew up in Oakland, California, told Forbes.
Isaac and Dominique are also working to build wealth in Black communities. Structurally, Black people turn to have difficulties accessing loans or building general wealth. “It’s important to understand the impact we have working in concert with a firm like Morgan Stanley. Being able to enter our communities and educate our people on the importance of financial literacy is paramount.
“Unfortunately, the net-worth of a Black household still represents about a tenth of our white counterparts. This discrepancy goes back generations, but with the amount of work being done on resetting the playing field, we’re confident our efforts can make real change,” said Dominique.
The two successful financial advisors are working to push for more co-workers that look like them. “…It’s been a blessing showing the next generation a career path that may have formerly been deemed unattainable. It’s not enough to simply be hired or feel a sense of belonging, we want to show that you can truly excel as well,” said Isaac.
“We’ve both worked extremely hard to be in the positions we are in today. When our clients entrust us to be the centerpiece on their road to long term wealth creation, it’s a responsibility we never take lightly.”