firm Awards

These Diversity & Inclusion Awards focus on highlighting initiatives from companies that aim to boost the advice industry’s diversity and create a more inclusive environment for all.

Outstanding Practices have built businesses that foster diversity internally and recognize the importance of embracing a diverse clientele. Diversity Champions are companies that support advisory firms and have formal initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion.

Outstanding Practice

Financial freedom wealth management group/ lpl financial

Broker-Dealer Employees:12 AUM:$230 million

Financial Freedom Wealth Management Group is one of the few investment firms with more women and people of color than white men working as advisers. Three quarters of this small firm's leadership and wealth adviser team are either female or a minority.

"We do not have initiatives specifically for women or people of color because it is simply not needed," said Julia Carlson, chief executive of Financial Freedom Wealth Management Group and an LPL adviser. "Everyone thinks you need a training program to have diversity. I think we have this wrong as a culture."

At her firm, diversity and inclusion are part of every interview, appointment, team meeting as well as branding.

The company hires, rewards and fires on the basis of its core values and commitment: to give every person respect, support and a voice, and a career path where they can be mentored and trained into their ideal job.

"Our company culture attracts diversity because we are diverse," said Jason Harris, a vice president and wealth adviser at the firm.

Clients and potential employees recognize it when they meet the team at events or visit the website.

"Our willingness to help others crosses gender and racial barriers because we do not see barriers," Ms. Carlson said.

Contact Julia Carlson, founder, at to learn more about its diversity and inclusion initiatives.

— Vanessa Drucker

Lifetime Achievement

Rising Stars

See it, Be it Role Models

Outstanding Practices

Diversity Champions


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