What You Need to Know
- The firm also plans to boost its recruiting pipeline through historically Black colleges and universities.
- Parent JPMorgan agreed in 2018 to pay $24 million to settle a discrimination suit brought by Black employees.
- Blacks and Latinos are underrepresented in wealth management, making up less than 5% of CFPs.
JPMorgan Chase stepped up its diversity initiatives on Friday as its J.P. Morgan Wealth Management division announced a plan to serve more Black and Latino clients and increase diverse advisor hiring.
The goal is to hire 300 additional Black and Latino advisors by 2025, JPMWM said, adding that the new plan builds on the $30 billion commitment to advance racial equality that JPMorgan Chase announced Oct. 8.
The announcement also follows a 2019 memo that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon sent to employees after a New York Times article exposed racial discrimination at a branch of the bank.
“I am disgusted by racism and hate in any form,” Dimon said in the memo, calling such behavior “unacceptable.” The executive also asked managers to review the bank’s policies, practices and culture, as well as to be “active” in addressing the issue, Bloomberg reported at the time.
Dimon’s comments came about a year after JPMorgan agreed to pay $24 million to settle a class-action discrimination lawsuit brought by six Black employees, including some advisors.
The bank, along with dozens of other institutions, is a member of The Diversity Project, which aims to ensure that professionals in financial services reflect the clients and communities they serve.
Only 13% of JPMorgan’s total workforce was Black and 20% were Hispanic in 2019, numbers that were the same as 2018, according to the company. It didn’t provide 2020 data or break the data out by advisors.
Other financial services companies that have stepped up their diversity efforts in recent months include Edward Jones, which recently agreed to pay $34 million to settle a racial bias class-action complaint filed in May 2018 by a Black former financial advisor. That firm recently announced a five-point commitment focused on equitable hiring, training, promotional practices and policies to better support financial advisors of color.
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards said in January that the number of Black and Hispanic CFP professionals increased to 3,688, up 12.6% from 3,274 in 2019. The growth rate was almost five times that of all CFP professionals. The number of Black CFPs grew to 1,493, but they still accounted for only 1.68% of planners. The number of Hispanic CFPs increased to 2,170 (2.46% of CFPs). There were only 25 biracial Black and Hispanic CFPs (.028% of CFPs).
The new JPMWM strategy will also include partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities, initiatives to promote internal mobility and resources to allow diverse employees to grow their career over time, it said Friday.