See it, Be it Role Model
Lazetta Rainey Braxton
Founder & CEO Financial Fountains Baltimore
As an African-American and a woman in the financial advice profession, Lazetta Rainey Braxton had few trailblazers to follow while forging her own path in the industry. But forge it, she did. She founded her firm a decade ago after experiencing a situation where a client used a derogatory term related to African Americans and her employer wasn't empathetic.
"It wasn't handled in a supportive way, and I feel like no one should be in an inhospitable work environment," Ms. Braxton said.
Financial Fountains focuses on serving the mass affluent, a segment of the population she describes as "overlooked and underserved," though today it also offers planning services for wealthier families with more complicated financial situations.
Ms. Braxton serves as chairwoman of the board of directors for the Association of African American Financial Advisors (AAAA), and is founding president of the AAAA Foundation, which aims to help the next-generation of advisers succeed in the business. She serves on the women's initiative of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. as it works to determine why so few women are in the financial advice industry, and is continuing her diversity and inclusion work as a member of the diversity advisory group and advisory council of the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning.
She has also chaired the Financial Planning Association's Diversity Committee, which awards scholarships for diverse financial professionals.
— Kathy J. Mills