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Practice Management > Diversity and Inclusion

Wealth Managers to Launch Onyx Platform for Minority Advisors

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What You Need to Know

  • The Onyx Advisor Network will provide minority advisors looking to start their own RIA with a community of like-minded advisors.
  • The new network will also offer access to compliance solutions, custodians, coaching development resources and other tech resources.
  • It will launch in January.

The founders of two minority-run California RIAs have joined forces to create a new support platform they said was designed to help historically underrepresented advisors start, scale and sustain their own practices.

The Onyx Advisor Network will launch in January and provide minority advisors looking to start their own RIA with a community of like-minded advisors and access to compliance solutions, custodians, coaching development resources and various other technology resources, Onyx said.

Onyx was created by Dasarte Yarnway, founder and managing director of Berknell Financial Group in Sacramento, and Emlen Miles-Mattingly, founder and CEO of Gen Next Wealth in Madera. Yarnway also served as one of the judges for ThinkAdvisor’s new LUMINARIES  recognition program this year.

As financial advisors who intimately understand the struggles faced by minority advisors, Yarnway and Miles-Mattingly are “uniquely positioned to build a platform” for advisors “who have had limited access to the important practice management and technology resources proven to foster growth and their success in the advisory profession,” Onyx said in its Tuesday announcement.

“Advisors of color, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups work tirelessly every day to support the financial lives of their clients,” according to Yarnway.

But “systemic inequities have left these advisors feeling isolated — lacking the networks, tools, and resources needed to build successful businesses,” he said in a statement. “We are here to ‘change the room’ and to empower underrepresented advisors to get off the island by tapping into a powerful network that will level the playing field.”

Advisors who join the new network will pay a flat monthly fee for membership and gain access to a discounted rate to attend the annual Onyx Advisor Conference that Onyx said will be designed especially for advisors of all identities to collaborate and grow, while they learn from industry experts.

Onyx will offer an investment management solution called Onyx Model Portfolios that it says will leverage Vanguard’s model portfolio expertise.

Network advisors will have the option to buy additional technology at a discount from Altruist, Envestnet | MoneyGuide, MessageWatcher, RightCapital, Synergy RIA Compliance Solutions and Wealthbox, Onyx said.

Onyx’s technology partners will enable advisors in the network to create financial plans, schedule meetings, log client events and automate mid- and back-office tasks, it said.

“The wealth gap in America has never been wider,” according to Miles-Mattingly. “To change the face of wealth, the financial services industry must better reflect the make-up of our country. You can see it plainly in the data, showing that over 70% of advisors are men, and 80% of them are white,” he said in the news release announcing the network.

The name of the network was inspired by the onyx stone, which Onyx said is known for its diverse color variation and unique veining patterns, symbolizing the Onyx Advisor Network’s main objective: to help underrepresented advisors gain a competitive advantage in the industry.

Pictured: Dasarte Yarnway


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