JP Morgan Wealth Management Launches HBCU Scholarships
After a mega-bank pledges to spend $ 30 billion to advance racial equity and hire 300 black and Latino financial advisors over the next five years, its wealth management arm is working with the United Negro College Fund on a new program to achieve both goals.
the JP Morgan Wealth Management Scholarship Program will provide 75 sophomore students with $ 2,000 for their tuition at 11 historically black colleges and universities each year through 2025, as well as internships and an additional $ 5,000 scholarship offered to approximately 40 seniors in the group on basis of merit, said Christopher Thompson, head of Diverse Advisor Experience in JPMorgan Chase’s financial advisory unit. Eligible first year undergraduates can apply through the College Fund website until midnight June 24.
Amid the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests last year following the murder of George Floyd, JP Morgan joined a wide range of financial services firms and other firms stepping up their donations, pledges and other programs designed to stop cycles. systemic racism. While welcoming the renewed attention and tens of billions dollars for the cause, critics often wonder if the so-called racial calculus will cross historical and persistent barriers to reduce wealth disparities and favor more under-represented financial professionals.
For example, less than 2% of CFP are black, less than 3% are Latino and less than a quarter of them are women, according to the board of directors of the CFP. The Wealth Management Fellowship is “an intentional way to lean in and say, ‘We want to increase the representation of black and brown people especially in the wealth arena,'” Thompson said in an interview.
“I like that we have discussions, that we make it a strategic priority, but also that we have a realistic vision that this thing won’t happen overnight because it didn’t start overnight. Thompson said. “I feel good in the direction we’re going, but it’s a slow job.”
The participating schools for the new scholarship are: Alabama A&M University, Central State University, Clark Atlanta University, Delaware State University, Howard University, North Carolina A&T State University, Paul Quinn College, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Tennessee State Winston-Salem State University and University.
If accepted, recipients qualify to apply for two summer internships after their graduate and undergraduate years, the Advancing Black Pathways Fellowship Program and the JP Morgan Wealth Management Service Center Internship.
“Partnerships like this clarify the path for students of color, helping them achieve goals they might not otherwise be able to achieve,” Michael Lomax, CEO of the College Fund, said in a statement. “All HBCUs and their students hope this partnership can be a model of success for others within the corporate donor community. “
To be successful in their endeavors, JP Morgan and other wealth managers must ensure that HBCU faculty and students – not just high-level administrators – are fully aware of the opportunities, said Nandita Das, director of the HBCU. Delaware state financial planning. program.
Das, who is also a counselor, calls it a “pipeline leak” when students complete college planning programs but do not enter the profession. Companies often fail to engage students when they send executives who are unlike them or, worse, lack the range of experience or knowledge to connect with potential advisors in a way that Makes them feel comfortable, Das says.
“Don’t wait to train in cultural skills, but let’s do it simultaneously,” she says. “The intention must be for real change to happen, because otherwise it will be a fad … Our goal is not just to throw money away; our goal is to change the profession.
JP Morgan Chase’s $ 30 billion commitment has four focus areas: affordable housing, black and Hispanic owned businesses, access to banks and capital, and promoting diversity in the workforce. The impact of the scholarship program and JP Morgan’s related commitment to hire hundreds of black and Latino advisers will decide whether she and other financial firms lead a real long-term change in the number of under-represented professionals in the world. the company.
Fellows will learn that being a financial advisor is “a viable career path” for them, as well as educating their friends and family about “what’s called investing, stocks and bonds,” says Thompson.
The company selected HBCUs for the program based, in part, on their proximity to JP Morgan service centers in Columbus, Ohio, and Plano, Texas, he notes. By launching the scholarships, the firm intends to give the profession a different angle than traditional industry training, calling on new representatives to build a business portfolio from personal contacts.
“We believe this is a pathway to education, access, learning and licensing,” Thompson said. “I expect that, year on year, as we learn more, as they learn more, as our business grows, there may be additional avenues.”