Outstanding Practice Finalist

Apriem Advisors

Registered investment adviser Year founded:1998 Employees:15

Founded by two Asian American wealth managers, Apriem Advisors promotes a culture of diversity. Its five partners all come from minority groups, as do a majority of its executives.

President Rhonda Ducote, who lost her father at age 10, launched the “Women of Wisdom” program in 2014 to educate women in finance, particularly those who are single or widowed.

The firm specializes in managing assets for blue-collar workers from the refineries and shipyards of Southern California. Most of these clients, often from minority backgrounds, started jobs right out of high school.

“From age 17, many of them have carved out a career, saving within their means, with no mortgage,” said Landon Yoshida, a principal of the firm whose father worked at a pineapple cannery in Hawaii.

In 2015, the firm started serving clients from an Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance, Calif., a base from which it expanded into other industrial firms. Those clients, who work in dangerous and difficult conditions, become “family.” Apriem organizes reunions for over 150 households of those workers after retirement.

“I only wish more advisers would serve them,” Mr. Yoshida said. “We’re not trying to keep it all to ourselves!”

Contact Rhonda L. Ducote at rhonda@apriem.com to learn more about the firm's diversity and inclusion initiatives.

— Vanessa Drucker

Lifetime Achievement

Rising Stars

See it, Be it Role Models

Outstanding Practices

Diversity Champions

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