Financial Services Institute President & CEO Dale Brown says the group “sees lots of common ground” with Democrats in Congress, including House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters.
“In all our 15 years, we’ve made it a priority to work with everyone elected by the American public to represent them,” Brown said during the FSI OneVoice 2019 conference on Tuesday in New Orleans.
“Access to advice and investor protection are not partisan issues,” he added, though there are differences of opinion on how to best accomplish these goals.
Waters has “always had an open door to us over years and listened to our input,” Brown said, “and I have confidence that will continue.”
FSI will be busy meeting with the nearly 100 new members of Congress over the next few months and sharing its views. “We have been reading Waters’ speeches and getting up to speed on issues she has prioritized,” said David Bellaire, FSI’s general counsel.
Waters, for instance, has helped form a Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee. It is examining low numbers of women and minorities in the ranks of senior management and overall in the financial services industry, numbers that she has said must improve.
Asked about the lack of women on FSI’s executive committee, Brown pointed out that two of six new members of its board of directors are women: advisor Denise Barrows of Barrows Trostle Advisors (which trades through 1st Global Capital), who has been in the industry for 24 years; and Carolyn Clancy, head of the broker-dealer segment of Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions, who has been with the firm for about 20 years.
The group “can do more in areas like financial literacy,” according to FSI Board Chair David Knoch, the president of 1st Global, “and by getting more students to go into financial planning and financial advisory work.”
Knoch said diversity and inclusion efforts are “tremendously important to members of FSI,” as shown with the 180 attendees at Monday’s pre-conference session on advancing women in leadership. “I suspect and hope that will align” with the new subcommittee.