Frank Paré talks diversity, institutional change and those sensitivity training videos

The financial planning industry is overwhelmingly white (and male). Only 1.8% of just over 92,000 certified financial planners identify as Black or African-American, according to data from the CFP Board, the nonprofit group that sets the standards for the CFP credential, the gold standard of individual planner designations.

Among those 1,652 professionals, Frank Paré, 58, is widely considered a thought leader and repository of historical knowledge about the emergence and evolution of diversity, equity and inclusion issues in the wealth management industry. He started as a stock record clerk at Charles Schwab in San Francisco in 1990, handling customer documents in storage vaults. Then he shadowed traders on Schwab’s equity trading desk, later becoming a compliance analyst for the discount brokerage. In 2001, he became the head of compliance at wealth management firm Loring Ward (which was later acquired by Focus Financial Partners and merged with Buckingham Strategic Wealth).

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