See it, Be it Role Model
Managing Director, Delaware Valley Complex Raymond James & Associates Philadelphia
After being in the profession for 24 years, Tony Barrett saw how the financial advice industry had changed but the difficulties of building a practice, especially for young African-American advisers, had not. So, along with two colleagues, he co-founded an informal networking group at Raymond James in 2013 to provide encouragement to other black financial advisers and to help attract diverse next-generation advisers.
Less than two years later, that group became the Black Financial Advisors Network and gained the full backing of Raymond James' leadership. Mr. Barrett, who manages about 80 advisers across 13 locations in the greater Philadelphia, Penn., area, is now the network's leader and organizes an annual conference for BFAN members.
This year, BFAN invited local alumni from INROADS, a nonprofit organization that develops minority youth for corporate and community leadership, to join the national conference. The students received an introduction to the business and networking opportunities with BFAN members and Raymond James leaders.
"There just isn't enough diversity in the industry, even if we spent all day, every day stealing all the diverse talent from the competition, there just isn't enough out there," Mr. Barrett said. "We have to recruit at the younger levels and show them they have a place in the investment business."
Mr. Barrett's colleagues call him a humble and effective leader. He clearly is also a successful role model.
— Kathy J. Mills