LPL Financial has recruited a team of two community-focused black advisors in Seattle from Northwestern Mutual Investment Services. The duo — now affiliated with the Financial Services Network — works with about $180 million in client assets and got started in the business in 2007.
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.