Association Of African American Financial Advisors Announces New Leadership, Launches Next Stage Of Vision For A More Equitable Wealth Management Industry
The Association of African American Financial Advisors (“AAAA” or the “Association”), a non-profit membership organization for African American financial advisors and other wealth management industry professionals, today announced the appointment of Alex David, President and CEO of Stifel Independent Advisors, as its incoming Chairman Emeritus.
In this position, Mr. David will provide strategic guidance to the Association as it embarks upon the next stage of its vision for driving a more equitable wealth management industry, according to a press release.
The appointment of Mr. David to this role is occurring in connection to the decision of the Association’s Founder LeCount Davis, MBA, CFP®, a widely recognized wealth management industry pioneer, to eventually transition to a chief advisory role. He will remain Chairman Emeritus and a member of the AAAA Board of Directors in 2023. Christian Nwasike, MFP®, will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board, providing day-to-day leadership of the Association. Mr. Nwasike is also principal and executive managing partner with Practice Management Consultants, LLC, a consultancy focused on coaching African American financial advisors to achieve greater business growth and success.
New Strategic Initiatives to Drive Greater Representation
“Our ability to create impactful change across the wealth management space is embedded in the Association’s incredibly strong foundations that were principally built by LeCount Davis,” said Mr. Nwasike.
“AAAA is positioned to amplify our voice and influence in helping to reshape the industry to be more reflective of our modern-day society because of the remarkable work of LeCount, who is truly a trailblazer for the Black financial advisor community. Building upon his lifetime of work, we will take bold and collaborative actions to develop solutions to problems of financial literacy, wealth inequality and other issues of immediate relevance to Black communities across the country. During this period of leadership transition, we remain fully committed to preserving our legacy while producing the best possible outcome for our members.”
Related to its leadership transition, the Association is in the process of building out a multi-racial Advisory Board of C-suite leaders across the wealth management space, part of a larger initiative to develop new programs to advocate for additional Black and diverse C-suite leadership while supporting young Black professionals seeking opportunities in the financial advisory space. It will further engage with the Black community to enhance financial education and address the racial wealth gap in the United States.
Commenting on the next chapter of the Association’s strategic development, Alex David said, “I am honored to take an active role in the future of AAAA at this critical moment in time for the wealth management industry. The ample transition runway we are chiseling leaves room for one of my top priorities: to build out a new advisory board comprised of Black CEOs and their allies, to further drive AAAA’s industry vision and objectives in collaboration with LeCount Davis. Having visible Black leadership is critical to the future of a more equitable financial advice industry, but it must go deeper. Working alongside Christian Nwasike and the professional staff at AAAA, as LeCount remains in his role, we will push our industry to make our board rooms, C-suites and branch offices more representative of the communities we serve.”
By the Numbers
According to industry statistics, while there are approximately 700,000 financial advisors serving communities across the country, there are only 60,000 Black Series 7 and Series 65 license holders and IARs, or 8% of the total advisor population. The most recent U.S. Census data suggested the Black and African American communities represent about 14.6% of the U.S. population.
“We believe we must achieve population parity between the percentage of Black advisors and the percentage of Black and African American communities in this country,” said Mr. Nwasike. “We need to double the number of Black advisors to meet this goal to mitigate the negative impacts of the racial wealth gap in the United States.”
Working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Top Firms
Additionally, AAAA plans to intensify its work with historically Black colleges and universities, including Howard University, Morehouse College and Spelman College, to increase awareness of this profession with graduates and young professionals so to immediately address the Black advisor shortage. The organization will also strengthen its partnership with top firms Wells Fargo, Merrill, J.P. Morgan & Co., and Edward Jones.
“According to independent research, the Black community is spending close to $2 trillion per year,” said AAAA Board Member Alleson Tate CFP®.
“Our membership has dedicated their professional lives to helping their clients build and sustain their financial well-being.”
“We believe our members are best positioned to help shift this community trend toward saving and investing a significant portion of these assets, enhancing Black America’s ability to deliver meaningful and sustainable generational wealth transfer for years to come.”
The Legacy of LeCount Davis
Mr. Davis earned his BA and MBA in accounting in the 1960s and was the first African American to earn the Certified Financial Planning designation from the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colo. He started his practice in 1970, which he continues to run today, in partnership with his successor. Mr. Davis founded AAAA in 2001 to address the needs and concerns of African American financial professionals.
“It’s an honor to work closely with so many peers and allies across the country, in service of our community,” said Mr. Davis.
“While we’ve made incredible strides since I started in this industry more than 50 years ago, the financial advisory space has more work to do. As we begin our leadership transition, I’m confident the mission of AAAA will be incredibly well served by Christian, Alex and the entire leadership team as they continue to build a more equitable and sustainable financial advice industry.”