The industry statistics for minority participation are strikingly bad. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards says less than 3.5% of financial planners are black or Latino. Last month, a New York Times article highlighted racial discrimination at an Arizona branch of JPMorgan, prompting CEO Jamie Dimon to address the issue.
Black advisors have gone to court and won legal settlements against JPMorgan ($24 million in 2018), Wells Fargo ($35.5 million in 2017) and Merrill Lynch ($160 million in 2013), for example, as part of their attempts to advance in the industry.
Wesley Burns and Antoine Toussaint are “best friends and college roommates [at the University of Seattle] who teamed up last year to form Burns, Toussaint & Associates,” according to the independent broker-dealer.
Toussaint cut his teeth at Morgan Stanley, while Burns started his career at Northwestern, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.
“We welcome Antoine and Wesley and their team to the LPL family. Their commitment and belief in each other is inspiring,” said Rich Steinmeier, LPL Financial managing director and divisional president of business development, in a statement.
“Neither of us came from money, and we really pushed each other to get to where we are today,” according to Burns. “Generational wealth in the black community is rare, but we want to break that mold and build something that’s bigger than ourselves.”
Their Seattle-based practice includes Joleen Powell and Dajeanne Washington. “We want our team to reflect the city we live in. It helps having women and different cultures represented on our team,” explained Toussaint in a statement.
Toussaint volunteers with Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, and Burns is on the board of Safe Crossing Foundation in Seattle.
“In addition to the valued services and advice they provide their clients, they have formally mentored and trained a community of young financial professionals coming into the industry to help develop the next generation of advisors … ,” according to Daxs Stadjuhar, managing partner with the Financial Services Network in Sacramento, California. “We are privileged to support their business, clients and efforts within their community.”
In other news, LPL said Matt Enyedi had been promoted from executive vice president to managing director of national sales. Enyedi began his LPL career in 2003 and became an EVP in 2015.
“Matt’s contributions over the years have created meaningful impact for advisors, institutions and LPL …,” said Andy Kalbaugh, managing director and divisional president, in a statement. “Matt’s promotion and growth at LPL are also testaments to the firm’s commitment to developing strong leaders.”
RIA Mercer Global Advisors is buying CCP Inc., a wealth-management firm in Chicago with $140 million in client assets.
CCP is owned by Steve Roberts, CFP, who works with Carin Pankros Roman, CFP, and the team’s staff. They will become part of Mercer Advisors’ office in the Windy City.
“After meeting with Dave Barton, Mercer Advisors’ vice chairman in charge of Mergers and Acquisitions, I was convinced Mercer Advisors was the right choice for me and for my clients. We couldn’t be happier,” according to Roberts.
“We are delighted to join forces with the CCP team and look forward to serving their clients with expanded wealth management services for years to come,” Mercer Advisors CEO Dave Welling said in a statement.
Mercer Advisors works with about $18 billion in total client assets and is majority owned by Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital.