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Edward Jones Ramps Up Diversity Drive

By Alex Padalka November 16, 2017

Hot on the heels of a similar effort to recruit more women in the mostly older-white-male arena of financial advice, Edward Jones has launched an initiative to attract and train minority advisors, according to a press release from the firm.

A 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics study found that just 6% of financial advisors were black, 7.1% were Hispanic and 7.7% were Asian, according to a statement from Edward Jones. The brokerage’s reestablished BRIDGE program aims to change those statistics through a mentorship and coaching program aimed at minorities “to reflect the communities the firm serves,” Edward Jones says.

The program pairs new hires with experienced financial advisors for 12 months to help new recruits establish themselves in their communities, according to the company. The BRIDGE initiative also includes a two-day cross-cultural training program designed to help advisors deal with cultural barriers and understand issues of race. Advisors are invited to participate in the training 10 to 60 months after starting to build a practice, Edward Jones says on the progam’s website.

“We believe that an inclusive group of associates is the best way to serve the varied and individual needs of our clients and will ultimately help those clients work toward their long-term financial goals,” Monica Giuseffi, principal of financial advisor inclusion and diversity at Edward Jones, says in the press release.

Edward Jones HQ, St. Louis (pic credit: Jim Wolfe)

BRIDGE and Edward Jones’ Women’s Initiative for New Growth Strategies, reintroduced in September, follows a pledge CEO Jim Weddle made in June along with 150 other chief executives as part of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, aimed at diversifying the workplace and making it more inclusive, the company says.