Schwab Advisor Services is launching a new program during its IMPACT 2014 conference aimed at increasing diversity at RIA firms.
Called RIA Talent Advantage, the project aims to help firms more effectively attract, promote and retain a diverse workforce. The program, which focuses on gender, culture and generational diversity, will be centered around a new LinkedIn community that will provide guest posts from industry thought leaders, research, moderated discussions and educational information.
“As the face of the investor changes, we believe greater diversity will be critical in driving RIA growth and sustaining success for the long term,” Neesha Hathi, senior vice president, said in a statement Tuesday.
The first phase of the program will focus on gender diversity, specifically by helping RIAs better serve female investors and recruit female advisors to their firms. Schwab launched a Women’s Advisory Council in 2012 made up of advisors, but with the RIA Talent Advantage program, Schwab is now “emphasis and additional structure to our effort to help advisors better understand the business opportunity and to cultivate female employees for leadership and ownership roles,” says Mary Rosai, a co-leader on the program and senior vice president and head of marketing for Schwab Advisor Services.
To help drive the initiative, the framework for the RIA Talent Advantage focuses on helping both the RIA firms cultivate an inclusive culture, as well as generating internal procedures to promote diverse talent and a recruiting pipeline of diverse candidates.
In addition to the LinkedIn community, Schwab is also undertaking new research in order to provide advisors with tangible, actionable insights and solutions to effect change in their firms.
“RIA firm growth will be driven by assets that not only come from their existing client base, but increasingly from a more diverse population and advisors must be ready to meet the unique needs of these individuals and their families,” Hathi says. “Our program will help RIAs forge new ground and share best practices to serve the evolving investor profile.”