Schwab Unveils Solution to Increase RIA Diversity

With an initial focus on gender diversity, Schwab Advisor Services unveiled the RIA Talent Advantage program and an associated online community to facilitate cross-firm discussion and innovation.

The multi-faceted program was created to help registered investment advisory (RIA) firms better understand the opportunity for and the value of creating a diverse workforce, Schwab says. The program is designed to help firms “build a culture of inclusion and more effectively attract, promote and retain talent at their firms and be optimally positioned to thrive in a highly competitive marketplace.”

A key component of the program is a new LinkedIn community, created to provide a resource to help RIA firm leaders, employees and all advocates of diversity connect with peers. The community will facilitate discussion and sharing of strategies for building a culture of inclusion across the RIA and financial services industries. The community will be a hub for custom content including guest posts from industry thought leaders, proprietary and third-party research, moderated discussions and connections to educational programming.

“As the face of the investor changes, we believe greater diversity will be critical in driving RIA growth and sustaining success for the long term,” notes Neesha Hathi, a senior vice president who co-leads the diversity effort at Schwab with Mary Rosai, senior vice president and head of marketing for Schwab Advisor Services. “RIA firm growth will be driven by assets that not only come from their existing client base, but increasingly from a more diverse population. Advisers must be ready to meet the unique needs of these individuals and their families.”

With a focus on gender, culture and generational diversity, Hathi says the program will help RIAs “forge new ground and share best practices to serve the evolving investor profile.” She adds that Schwab will conduct innovative research and provide advisers with tangible, actionable insights and solutions for effecting change in their firms.

Rosai says the firm will leverage guidance from its Women’s Advisory Council to develop pathways firms can take to move towards greater diversity. “We are now adding emphasis and additional structure to our effort to help advisers better understand the business opportunity and to cultivate female employees for leadership and ownership roles,” she adds. “Our goal is to increase the number of women RIAs, which we believe will benefit advisers and investors alike.”

More information is available at