Our Story

Increase the number of black professionals in the financial services industry

Our story starts with a research project

In 2018, Nationwide, along with the American College of Financial Services, initiated RISE Research to determine why there was a lack of diversity in the financial services industry.

When Nationwide conducted this research, there were several known factors:

  • There is a racial wealth gap in America.
  • There is a lack of diversity in the financial services industry.
  • The US population is growing older and more racially and ethnically diverse.

Who We Serve

The Financial Alliance for Racial Equity (FARE) launched in September 2020 as a coalition of financial services firms, industry organizations and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with a mission to increase racial diversity, drive greater equity and foster inclusion within the financial services industry and the communities served. FARE members have a unified vision to transform the financial services industry to better serve diverse employees and communities—current and future generations—using actionable and measurable solutions.

RISE Research​

Nationwide found that 87% of Black advisors face distinct challenges within the financial services industry because of 1

Lack of mentorship opportunities
Discrimination on the part of the consumer
Lack of a natural market
0 %

Lack of mentorship opportunities

0 %

Discrimination on the part of the consumer

0 %

Lack of a natural market

From their research, Nationwide identified actionable solutions to increase the number of Black advisors and financial professionals in the financial services industry.

1 Research for Action (2019) “Nationwide Potential Advisors: HBCU Student Perceptions of the Field of Financial Planning and Factors that Influence Student Career Choice”

These solutions are known as R.I.S.E.

Nationwide’s goal was to Recruit diverse financial professionals, Invest in them, Sustain them, and Evolve with them. They knew they could achieve more by working with other organizations than they could alone.

Nationwide found that many financial services firms were as committed to DEIB efforts as they were. No matter where they were on their journey to racial equity, ALL of the firms wanted to increase diversity in the financial services industry. So they decided to rise up, together.

We also learned that Black advisors believe that promoting more people of color into senior executive positions in the financial services industry is important to increasing their success.

Nationwide knew they could achieve far more together than alone and found that many organizations were as committed to DEI efforts in their own companies, some firms were more mature in their DEIB efforts and had practice management strategies to support diverse professionals within their firms, they had ARGs similar to Nationwide. And while some firms were smaller and didn’t have quite the same level of infrastructure, they ALL demonstrated the commitment of wanting to increase diversity in the financial services industry.

So we said, “how do we elevate from one firm to many”?

How do we elevate from one firm to many?”

The Financial Alliance for Racial Equity (FARE) was created.

In September 2020, when the US was grappling with the social issues still plaguing our country today, FARE was launched–a coalition of financial services firms, industry organizations, and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Our mission is to increase racial diversity, drive greater equity, and foster inclusion within the financial services industry and communities served.

RISE Research Findings: Perceptions from Black Students

0 %
Site “capacity to help others” as most influential factor in selecting a major
0 %
Find the industry appealing
0 %
Feel there are challenges that Black advisors specifically face
1 Research for Action (2019) “Nationwide Potential Advisors: HBCU Student Perceptions of the Field of Financial Planning and Factors that Influence Student Career Choice”

Our Team

FARE is currently made up of more than ten financial services firms, six industry partners, and six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). 

The FARE Board of Directors ensures effective strategic planning, financial management, and organizational effectiveness through strong governance.

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Shani Armon

Chief Membership  &  Marketing Officer
Insured Retirement Institute (IRI)

Regina Curry

Chief Diversity Officer
Franklin Templeton

Clarence Knox

President & Advanced Planning Consultant
ASK Solutions 

Shareen Luze

Head, Culture and Field Experience
RBC Wealth Management

Chad Racicot

Associate Vice President, Talent Acquisition
Nationwide

Kristi Rodriguez

President
Financial Alliance for
Racial Equity

Cindy Hoes

Operations Officer
Financial Alliance for
Racial Equity

Zenniere Bowry-Thomas

Office of the President
Financial Alliance for
Racial Equity

Tim Dwyer

Treasury/Officer
Financial Alliance for
Racial Equity

Keith Hinze

Secretary/Officer
Financial Alliance for
Racial Equity

D’Andrea Kinley

Project Manager
Financial Alliance for
Racial Equity

Kennedy Clay

FARE Intern
Hampton University

NaKyla Comer

FARE Intern
Winston Salem State University

Kennedy Reid

FARE Intern
Howard University

Our Recognition

Finalist for
Investment News
Diversity Champion
Award

2023

Winner of the
Investment News
Diversity Champion Award
2021 & 2022

Finalist for
MMI/ Barron’s Industry
Awards (“Doing
Good” category)

2022

Winner of the Wealth
Management Diversity
Equity & Inclusion
Award

2021

Honoree for
Think Advisor
“Luminaries” Award

2021

Finalist for “Luminaries” Award 2021, 2022 & 2023

Would you like to become a member?

Do you represent a financial services company or institution and want to learn more about our services? Let’s connect!

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