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University of Akron’s Diversitas Announces Fifth Annual Financial Planning Diversity Symposium

The free virtual event will be held November 3rd with more than 20 universities participating


AKRON, Ohio, September 28, 2021 — The University of Akron’s College of Business (CoB) today announced details surrounding its fifth annual Diversitas symposium. The event serves as a forum for wealth management veterans and emerging talent to discuss the opportunities for next generation advisors in the financial planning industry. The organization is dedicated to bringing greater age, gender and racial diversity to the financial planning and wealth management industry to secure a brighter future for the industry and the clients it serves. The event is free to attend and will be taking place on November 3, 2021, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET virtually, with local breakout sessions in conjunction with the national portion.

“The wealth management industry is reaching a tipping point – more people need financial advice, while the majority of financial advisors are nearing retirement age,” said Barry Mulholland, Ph.D., lead organizer of Diversitas and director of the CoB’s financial planning program. “As students consider where to bring their talents when they graduate, we hope Diversitas highlights the opportunities available for them in the wealth management industry. We aim to demystify the industry and show people of all colors, creeds and orientations the differences they can make with a career in the financial advisory field.”

The Diversitas symposium is a gathering of wealth management industry leaders, career influencers, and undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to discuss the evolving financial services industry. The symposium moved to a virtual format last year with the ongoing pandemic, and the event will feature virtual panel discussions and breakout sessions, enabling attendees to network and engage on the range of challenges and opportunities in the wealth management industry.

Speakers include some of the financial services industry’s top thought leaders and advocates, including Chief Experience Officer at Dakota Wealth Management, Carina Diamond; financial services leader and DEI advocate, Kate Healy; Owner of McKay Wealth Management, Lindsey McKay; CEO of Suzanne Siracuse Consulting, LLC, Suzanne Siracuse; Executive Vice President and Chief Fiduciary Service Officer at Cambridge Investment Research, Colleen Bell; Managing Director and Senior Managing Counsel at BNY Mellon | Pershing, Tonia Bottoms and Executive Vice President, Advisor Engagement at Advisor Group, Erinn Ford. Diversitas is sponsored by the Financial Alliance for Racial Equity (FARE), Advisor Group, BNY Mellon | Pershing, Cambridge Investment Research, Cetera Financial Group and Schwab Asset Management.

In addition to The University of Akron, Partner Universities include financial planning programs at leading programs around the U.S., such as California Lutheran University; California State University Northridge; Edinboro University of Pennsylvania;  Kansas State University;  Minnesota State University, Mankato; The Ohio State University; Olivet College; Prairie View A&M University; Texas A&M University; Texas Tech University; University of Georgia; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; University of Maryland Global Campus; the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; and Virginia Tech University, to name a few. A list of all Partner Universities can be found on the Diversitas website.

“We are incredibly excited to have such great sponsors and Partner Universities working with us this year – these organizations are instrumental in our mission to expand diversity in financial services nationwide,” said Dr. Susan Hanlon, Interim Dean of the College of Business. “We are confident that our message is resonating throughout the industry. Wealth management firms are working to hire young, talented employees to serve the clients of the future, and events like the Diversitas symposium help to reach these students and show them the career opportunities waiting for them in financial services.”

Diversitas is receiving nationwide recognition for the organization’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the financial services industry. To that end, the organization recently was named to the inaugural class of the ThinkAdvisor Luminaries Award in the Diversity and Inclusion category. This award is dedicated to firms and organizations that meaningfully embrace and genuinely strive to incorporate individuals of different ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, disabilities and sexual orientations through creative and effective programs within their organizations and within their communities.

For more information or to register for Diversitas, please click here. Professionals can also join the conversation on social media by following Diversitas (@Diversitasfp) on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and using the hashtag #diversitasFP.

About Diversitas

Diversitas is an organization run by The University of Akron’s College of Business focused on making the financial planning profession and the wealth management industry more inclusive through education, mentorship and human connection. Diversitas runs local and nationwide events in an effort to attract underrepresented groups to the financial advisory profession and industry by mitigating the leading barriers to entry – a lack of education, understanding and awareness.

For more information on Diversitas, visit: