The Investments and Wealth Institute’sÂ diversity scholarship program, which launched in January, has gained traction among African American and Latinx wealth management professionals seeking aÂ Certified Investment Management AnalystÂ (CIMA),Â Certified Private Wealth AdvisorÂ (CPWA) orÂ Retirement Management AdvisorÂ (RMA) designation, the organization reports.
â€œI was surprised at how much of an impact it made this year,â€ said Sean Walters, CEO of IWI. â€œWeâ€™ve seen a large rise in the number of African Americans whoâ€™ve come to us to apply for one of the certifications over our existing benchmarks, the existing percentage of African Americans in our organization. The same with Latinos and Hispanics. Women in Wealthâ€”we saw a slight rise. Itâ€™s actually gotten a little more pronounced as the year hasÂ progressed.â€
The scholarship program has arrived amidst aÂ period in which theÂ financial servicesÂ sector tries to reckon with the lack of racial and gender diversity within it. Less than seven percentÂ of financial advisors are Black, Hispanic, Asian or Native American.Â BesidesÂ IWI, the College for Financial Planning, which administers the Certfied Financial Planner designation, a requirement for the CIMA and CPWA,Â announced in October that it launched its own diversity scholarhsip, as well.Â
The 74 candidates, all fromÂ underrepresented backgrounds, representedÂ the highest number of scholarship recipients the organization has granted in any categoryÂ to date. The Women in Wealth scholarship, from whichÂ the diversity scholarship launched, had a total of 43 recipients this year. IWI gave a total 194 scholarships this year, including to professionals qualifying for assistance as next generation talent or who incurred a financial hardship.
Only 24 candidates qualified for more than one scholarship category.
IWI calculated 36 recipients were African American, 32 were Hispanic or Latinx, 24 were Asian, two were Middle Eastern, one was American Indian. Eleven recipients represented more than one ethnicity.
The awarded scholarship amount depended on the scholarship category. CIMA and CPWA candidates receivedÂ $2,000 or less towards their costs, whileÂ RMAÂ certification seekers received between $500 and $1,000 in assistance.