The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning’s inaugural Diversity Summit received key sponsorship from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, the professional organization announced. Merrill recently became the leading employer of CFP professionals in the United States, according to a statement.
The financial services firm’s sponsorship provides support for the day-long summit, including speakers and participants like Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, Just Wealth Founder Phuong Luong, and Dr. Frank Dobbin, a Harvard sociology professor with a background in economic sociology and chair of the university’s organizational behavior graduate program.
“Two years ago, the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning launched with a bold mission: to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession so that all Americans have access to competent and ethical financial planning advice,” said Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, executive director of the organization. “As consumer demand for financial planning grows, it is imperative we expand and diversify the ranks of CFP professionals who can meet the needs of our increasingly diverse U.S. population.”
The organization reported starkly disproportionate numbers of women and non-whites among financial planners. “[W]omen make up only 23 percent of CFP professionals in the United States,” according to the organization’s analysis. Based on the self-reported data, “less than 3.5 percent of all 80,000 CFP professionals are Black or Latino, which is significantly less than the representation of Blacks and Latinos in the U.S. population.”
“The financial planning profession needs to reflect the increasingly diverse American public it serves,” noted CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller.