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CFP Board Center for Financial Planning (“Center”) today published a new report titled “Creating a DEI-Driven Culture of Retention in Financial Planning: Lessons Learned from Industry Leaders.” The report highlights core strategies that firms can use to retain and advance diverse recruits, including case studies from Abacus Wealth Partners, Charles Schwab and Edward Jones.

Consumer demand for competent and ethical financial planning has never been higher. Yet as more advisors reach retirement age, the financial planning profession is facing significant workforce challenges. There is not enough new workforce talent to meet the high consumer demand, and a historical lack of diversity in the profession has made it difficult to attract a wider range of talent that reflects its increasingly diverse client base. Efforts to attract candidates from varied backgrounds are making headway, but firms must also implement strong retention strategies to maintain a diverse workforce in the long term.

“Sharing the report’s key lessons and initiatives from industry leaders is essential to helping industry leaders build more diverse and sustainable financial planning firms,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “Firms can use these core practices to create a more inclusive culture that better serves the needs of their clients.”

The report outlines DEI best practices for retention in the financial planning profession, including vision articulation, equitable hiring, leadership development, career paths and succession planning, professional development, and measurement and accountability. In addition to highlighting industry case studies, the report provides detailed guidance on how these practices can be scaled to fit different organizational sizes and needs, from small firms to large enterprises.

Emphasizing the importance of senior leadership, the report suggests that leaders define and explain the "why" behind organizational efforts to create a culture of retention and that they develop an equity lens to eliminate barriers across the company.

“Shaping workplace culture is challenging but vital,” said Dawn Harris, Director of Diversity & Inclusion at CFP Board. “Much remains to be done to ensure that the financial planning profession is welcoming to people of all backgrounds. This report offers a good starting point, and we hope firms will integrate these practical tips into their work.”

This report is a product of the ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion work of the Center, which advances the financial planning profession through multiple avenues, including providing educational resources, scholarships and an annual Diversity Summit.

about cfp board

CFP Board is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board consists of two affiliated organizations focused on advancing the financial planning profession for the public’s benefit. CFP Board of Standards sets and upholds standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification — widely recognized by the public, advisors and firms as the standard for financial planners — so that the public has access to the benefits of competent and ethical financial planning. CFP® certification is held by nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. CFP Board Center for Financial Planning addresses diversity and workforce development challenges and conducts and publishes research that adds to the financial planning profession’s body of knowledge.

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Joseph Feese
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