Updated Sunday, September 21, 2014 as of 4:12 PM ET

It's Time to Talk About the Race Gap

The problem seems obvious whenever we walk the floor at a big industry conference: Nonwhite faces are few and far between in a sea of white male advisors.

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Comments (1)
This is Michael Chindamo, Co-founder of Fautores Family Offices. I choose to identify myself and not hide behind cryptic email addresses.
I can offer my experience as related to this topic that I have experienced since 1978.
I have a perspective that adresses the large wirehouses since I worked with a few in my early days as well as the independent advisor area as well.
First off I had the privilege of working with three Wirehouse presidents. This topic was discussed. Secondly, what the article describes also has a presence in other service businesses as well.
First off, I never experienced or witnessed and racial predjudice by any wirehouse. The concern always discussed was can a minority attract enough business to sustain themselves? Minority, depending where you are may be, black, Puerto Rican, Chinese, Jewish, Italian, Native American Indian etc have I missed any one? You see, the issue is will the rep be able to attract clients? Wall Street is color blind. They only see the color green! In my personal case, I was lucky to attract a following of many people of different cultures. What I have seen is that many reps build practices based upon their associations with friends from who they associate with. That can either be from their religous community,nationality, country club etc. Many have built practices for the most part with clients that share the same values. That is the real issue. Prince/Maru Industrial Organizational Psychologists addressed this issue in a report that was offered through Fidelty in 1997. The outcome was all about shared values.
So, the real issue is and should not be on the financial firms as much as it belongs on the clients themselves. There have been many times that prospective clients and clients have voiced racial tones in my presence. It is at that point that the advisor and or firm has an edict that says, no religion, no politics. After all, I could care less whether my cardiologist is purple, as long as he is a really good cardiologist. I would suggest that many advisors feel the same. Be a professional. Attain the experience and credentials that make sense to you, always raise the bar on your abilities. Lastly, attract those that share your values. In order to do that you need to share what your values really are.
Posted by Michael C | Saturday, August 09 2014 at 8:32AM ET
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