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Why Cultural Competencies Matter: LUMINARIES Podcast

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Financial advisory leaders need to work on their “cultural competencies” in order to expand diversity and inclusion at their firms, argues Ana Trujillo Limon, director of coaching and advisor content at Carson Group, in a podcast interview with ThinkAdvisor.

Often, the industry attracts diversity, but the culture at firms “isn’t very comfortable for [these individuals], and they end up leaving,” says Limon, a finalist in ThinkAdvisor’s 2022 LUMINARIES awards in the category of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

One way to boost diversity is to access programs that industry organizations make available, Limon notes.

“Leadership teams are made up primarily of white individuals — or white males — who say, ‘I don’t have the network’” to hire people of diverse backgrounds, she points out.

“But a lot of great organizations are doing some amazing, important work” by providing opportunities for firms to expand and become more diverse, she says.

Limon holds a certificate in leadership from the Latino Leadership Institute at the University of Denver. There, she learned that “as Latinos, we need to help lift each other up as we rise — that’s true for everybody,” she says. “We get to a certain spot and forget where we came from — [we forget] to help those coming up behind us.

“But if we turn our backs on [them], it doesn’t lead to progress,” she maintains.

Previously, Limon was editor-in-chief of FPA Publications with the Financial Planning Association in Denver. She started out as an editor and reporter at newspapers such as The Santa Fe New Mexican and the Miami SunPost.

She and Jamie Hopkins, Carson Group’s managing partner of wealth solutions, co-host the Framework Podcast aimed at advisors. It’s a platform for diverse voices in the industry “to share their stories and their framework for success,” Limon explains.

On the practice management side, one of the biggest challenges for advisors, she says, is “finding really great operations professionals. This is a very critical role to fill, [allowing] the advisor [to] free up time for more meaningful client work,” she points out.

When firms lack this key role, some advisors “tend to wear too many hats and burn themselves out,” she warns. Taking care of their physical and mental health is essential for advisors, but “personal development” is “often overlooked.”

At Carson, coaches turn their attention to that aspect.

“The other day,” Limon relates, “one of our coaches was saying how proud she was that [an advisor] was starting to [practice] mindfulness and was [beginning] to meditate 10 minutes a day.”

To hear Limon discuss these and other topics important to advisors, listen to our podcast.


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