Diversitas symposium to influence diversity and inclusion in financial planning industry


The University of Akron’s College of Business Administration (CBA) continues to focus on closing the diversity gap in the financial planning industry with its annual symposium that aims to boost diversity among financial and wealth management planners.

The CBA will host “Diversitas: Expanding Diversity in Wealth Management” on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 8 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. in the Jean Hower Taber Student Union. Cost to attend is $35 for financial advisors. Career influencers, and university and high school students will be admitted at no cost.

Dr. Barry Mulholland

Dr. Barry Mulholland

Diversitas is a financial knowledge symposium bringing leaders in financial planning and wealth management together with career influencers and diversity and inclusion thought leaders to build professional hope for young people and career changers in an industry that is working diligently to be fully inclusive.

“The critical need to diversify the financial services industry continues,” said Dr. Barry Mulholland, director of the financial planning program in the CBA. “We continue to see that only about 30% of advisors are women. They, together with other diverse groups, still represent only half of the number of employees in the advisor ranks as compared to the general population. And diversity of age in the profession continues to present problems, with more advisors over the age of 70 than under the age of 30. This raises concerns about who will be advising the next generation, as pointed out in a recent Knowledge@Wharton article that indicated Generation Z is more diverse than the generations preceding them.”

Keynote speaker will be Mark Tibergien, CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions, who will talk about the need for financial advisors to address underserved communities. Prior to joining Pershing in 2007, Tibergien was a principal at the accounting and consulting firm, Moss Adams LLP, where he was partner-in-charge of the Business Consulting group, chairman of the Financial Services Industry group and partner-in-charge of the Business Valuation group. Previously, he was president of a nationally recognized bank and business training and consulting firm, a principal in an investment management and business valuation firm, a writer for a financial trade magazine and a general assignment newspaper and radio reporter.

Mark Tibergien

Mark Tibergien

Additional speakers and topics are:

  • Dr. Susan Hanlon, interim dean, UA College of Business Administration, welcoming remarks;
  • Dr. Gary L. Miller, president, The University of Akron, lunch speaker, “People, Place, and Promises”;
  • Cynthia Owyoung, vice president of diversity and inclusion, Charles Schwab & Co., “The Need for Diversity in Financial Services”;
  • Whitney Tome, principal, The Raben Group for the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning, “Removing Barriers: New Diversity Research in Financial Services”;
  • Dr. Laura Mattia, director, Personal Financial Planning Program, University of South Florida, “Impacting Financial Literacy: The Collaborative Power of Educators and Financial Professionals”;
  • Carina Diamond, chief experience officer, managing partner, Dakota Wealth Management, “Show Me the Money: Scholarships and Their Impact”; and
  • Michael Savage, CFA, senior client portfolio strategist, Charles Schwab & Co., “Biagnostics®: Where Behavioral Finance Meet Client Experience.”

(Speaker biographies are available online.)

The event will include a panel discussion and breakout sessions. The program also offers five hours of professional development contact for PK-12 teachers and one hour of continuing education for financial professionals.

Diversitas is sponsored by Charles Schwab Investment Management and is a spinoff of “Financial Planning Women & Diversity Symposium,” which began in 2017. The event includes free parking, lunch, and materials. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. inside the Jean Hower Taber Student Union. Register online before Nov. 14.

Media contact: Alex Knisely, 330-972-6477 or aknisely@uakron.edu.