The Black Financial Advisors Network supports the recruitment and retention of the best and brightest black professionals in the financial services industry. Our mission doesn’t end there; we also are dedicated to helping you develop your career and grow your business with the support of accomplished advisors just like you. Guided by a spirit of excellence and a client-first approach, the network is committed to contributing to the long-term success of black advisors and Raymond James.
In the fall of 2013, Philadelphia area complex manager Tony Barrett and Maryland financial advisor Kaon Nelson had the idea to create an organization of professionals facing similar challenges who could share best practices and perspectives. What began as informal meetings and conversations then flourished, and in January 2015 the Black Financial Advisors Network (BFAN) had its inaugural meeting with the full support of Raymond James leadership, including CEO Paul Reilly, the start of a bright and promising future.
Reilly said at the time, “The financial services industry as a whole has not done a good enough job of recruiting, training and retaining diversified financial advisors, and Raymond James is, unfortunately, no exception, but we’re committed to changing that. Thanks to the efforts of this group of individuals who saw a need and took action to create the Black Financial Advisors Network of Raymond James – so named to represent advisors of multiple ethnicities – along with additional efforts to bring in a new, more diverse generation of financial advisors through early exposure to our industry and college recruiting, we are taking significant steps toward our goal. I fully support these efforts to help Raymond James create a more diverse advisor population to better serve clients.”
The members of the BFAN Advisory Council include the network co-founders and represent a cross-section of Raymond James advisors – geographically and by affiliation, industry experience and practice size. The council’s role is to set direction for the network and work with multiple home office associates in developing the programs and initiatives that will ensure BFAN thrives, grows and makes a lasting impact.
BFAN’s goal is to establish Raymond James as the destination of choice for experienced black financial advisors who seek a place where they are welcomed, supported and celebrated in their success. The network highlights the firm’s inclusive culture to prospects throughout the country.
Through multi-year partnerships with colleges and universities, as well as schools with recognized financial planning curricula, BFAN aims to increase the pool of qualified professionals who are both prepared for and aware of the career opportunities in the financial advising profession. Additionally, the network plans to make a concerted effort to recruit minority talent from other financial services sectors, such as insurance and banking.
The best way to retain talented advisors is to help ensure their success, so BFAN is working with the Raymond James Private Client Group Education & Practice Management team and other professional resources throughout the firm to provide customized educational programs, development opportunities, partnership opportunities and mentorships.
Much like the Raymond James Network for Women Advisors, which started small and has grown to a force of more than 800 advisors, the Black Financial Advisors Network looks forward to becoming the premier organization for financial advisors of color in the industry, with Raymond James a model of diversity.