Edward Jones Survey Finds Access to Financial Education Is Key for Diverse Clients
News release | Sep. 28, 2023
Firm holds third-annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference
ST. LOUIS, September 28, 2023 – The most important step financial institutions can take to meet the needs of current and prospective diverse clients is offering financial education resources (41%), according to a new Edward Jones survey of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference qualifiers.
This finding comes as Edward Jones kicked off its third-annual event this week, which surveyed conference qualifiers, including financial advisors, client support team members and home office associates.
More than half (54%) of client-facing qualifiers (financial advisors and client support team members) said access to financial education resources was the most pressing financial need they see among clients from diverse backgrounds. Nearly half (49%) of respondents reported they felt that financial institutions are not meeting the needs of clients from diverse backgrounds.
“When we equip our branch teams with the right resources to support all of our clients, including their unique life experiences and backgrounds, we can create lasting financial strength and growth,” said Jennifer Kingston, Head of Enterprise Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Edward Jones.
Communicating with Empathy and Advancing Professional Growth are Tenants to Client and Professional Success
Client-facing qualifiers noted that communicating with empathy to bridge cross-cultural or cross-generational gaps makes them feel most prepared to meet the needs of all clients – particularly those from more diverse backgrounds. With the marketplace of prospective clients growing increasingly diverse, it’s important to ensure associates feel equipped with the tools to be successful.
When asked about the most impactful area for diverse associates to focus on early in their careers, 65% said it was to find a professional development pathway to advance and build new skills compared to 55% of respondents who said the same in 2022. Seeking out a mentor, which was the top action identified in 2022 at 74%, was a close second this year at 62%, followed by networking with other professionals in the industry (42%).
“There is an urgency to provide greater personalized and more inclusive client service that extends cross-cultural understanding. That starts from within,” said Kingston. “Our colleagues are our greatest asset. Whether they are building relationships with their clients or seeking connection professionally to grow in their skills, our overarching goal is to be a place where every colleague feels valued, respected, seen, and heard.”
Edward Jones DEI Conference Furthers Knowledge of Inclusivity
The firm's DEI conference brings together financial advisors, client support team members and home office associates to further their knowledge and understanding of innovative DEI topics. The third-annual event includes interactive panel discussions, presentations, workshops and networking sessions where qualifiers gain insights, tools and resources to strengthen their DEI acumen and create a place of belonging for all.
The more than 400 attendees qualified based on their DEI volunteerism and allyship in firm Business Resource Groups and other programs. To learn more about Edward Jones' commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion, read the firm's latest Purpose, Inclusion and Citizenship report.
The 2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey was conducted via an online poll of Edward Jones' DEI Conference qualifiers. One hundred thirty financial advisors, branch team support members and home office associates participated in the survey and attended the 2023 conference held September 27-29, 2023.
About Edward Jones
Edward Jones is a leading financial services firm in the U.S. and through its affiliate in Canada. The firm's nearly 19,000 financial advisors serve more than 8 million clients with a total of $1.8 trillion in client assets under care at the end of June 2023. Edward Jones' purpose is to partner for positive impact to improve the lives of its clients and colleagues, and together, better our communities and society. Through the dedication of the firm's 52,000 associates and our branch presence in 68 percent of U.S. counties, the firm is committed to helping more people achieve financially what is most important to them. The Edward Jones website is at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.
Regina DeLuca-Imral, Edward Jones