Raymond James celebrates the launch of the Pride Financial Advisors Network
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Raymond James is celebrating the official launch of the Pride Financial Advisors Network as the group kicks off Pride Month. The Pride Financial Advisors Network, which was developed to champion advisors, clients, prospects and allies who identify with, support or serve the LGBTQ+ community, first began rolling out with introductions at the firm’s advisor conferences in 2019. After months of development and planning, the network is celebrating its official debut during Pride Month 2020.
“Our firm is about people. All people. Cultivating an inclusive environment where everyone’s perspectives and contributions are welcomed and valued is an extension of Raymond James’ culture,” said Scott Curtis, president of Raymond James’ Private Client Group, executive sponsor of the Pride Financial Advisors Network. “The Pride Financial Advisors Network, along with the Black Financial Advisors Network, the Women Financial Advisors Network and our associate-facing networks, has been integral in our mission to further diversity and inclusion within Raymond James and our profession.”
Financial advisors and national co-chairs Tom Hake and Marta Shen spearhead the network’s efforts, in collaboration with other experienced advisors who make up its advisory council. As with many of Raymond James’ diversity and inclusion networks, the Pride Financial Advisors Network has grown from advisor and associate engagement, and is backed by support and encouragement from senior executives.
“The passion and collaboration I see every day from our advisors, network co-chairs, the councils and our executives are what make Raymond James’ diversity and inclusion programs so unique,” said Renée Baker, head of Raymond James’ Private Client Group Advisor Inclusion Networks. “The Pride Financial Advisors Network has shown incredible dedication, enthusiasm and heart in their support of LGBTQ+ advisors, their teams and clients. I am continually inspired and proud to work with them as they build out education and initiatives to further support this community.”
Since the group’s formal establishment, the network’s leaders have worked closely with the firm’s associate Pride Network and firm leaders to direct and allocate resources for increasing awareness and raising the visibility of LGBTQ+ communities. Examples of formal programming and education at the firm include unconscious bias training for all leaders and associates, which has aided in stronger understanding of biases and facilitated open and honest conversations about how we can all work to create a safe environment where everyone feels welcomed.
In addition to encouraging and supporting continued learning, the Pride Financial Advisors Network has introduced networking and educational content, including resources to better support advisors serving and advising LGBTQ+ clients. The network’s inaugural kickoff event, which was scheduled for June in coordination with Pride Month 2020, has been postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19. In lieu of the in-person meeting, the network is hosting a virtual networking and educational event in October for members and allies.
“A global pandemic and resulting travel restrictions may have postponed our inaugural in-person Business of Pride Symposium, but it has certainly not slowed our plans and efforts to help forge the future of finance through equal opportunity, fair representation and valuable service in support of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Shen.
“As national co-chairs, Marta and I are so honored to be a part of the change the Pride Financial Advisors Network is driving,” said Hake. “We’re excited to celebrate Pride Month, along with the launch of our Pride Financial Advisors Network, with our fellow colleagues and allies throughout the country.”
In recognition of Pride Month, Raymond James will be raising the Pride flag at its corporate headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida, and engaging on social media via #RJPride.
In 2020, Raymond James was recognized for its efforts to further diversity and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community. Raymond James earned a score of 100 on the 2020 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index this year, resulting in the firm being recognized as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality. In May, Curtis was honored as a Business of Pride Ally by the Tampa Bay Business Journal for his support and leadership around LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion in the workplace.*
In addition to the advisor inclusion networks, Raymond James has diversity and inclusion networks for corporate associates that provide opportunities for professional growth, development, education and support. Included are the Women’s Inclusion Network, the Pride Inclusion Network and the Emerging Professionals Inclusion Network. There is also the Mosaic Inclusion Network, which brings multicultural associates together, and the Valor Inclusion Network, which advocates for veterans’ advancement and community outreach.
About Raymond James Financial, Inc.
Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE: RJF) is a leading diversified financial services company providing private client group, capital markets, asset management, banking and other services to individuals, corporations and municipalities. The company has approximately 8,100 financial advisors. Total client assets are $828 billion. Public since 1983, the firm is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RJF. Additional information is available at www.raymondjames.com.
*These awards are not based in any way on the firm’s abilities in regards to providing investment advice or management. They are not indicative of our advisor's future performance, are not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients' experience. Raymond James is not affiliated with the 2020 Human Rights Campaign or the Tampa Bay Business Journal.