Coalition to advance Black talent in insurance wholesaling

The focus on the Black community will be used as a blueprint to benefit other groups

Leading financial services firms and industry resource groups have united to increase the number of diverse professionals in insurance wholesaler roles in the United States.

Together, these organisations form the Coalition for Equity in Wholesaling. The Coalition will initially focus its efforts on the Black community, which will “serve as a blueprint as it scales a repeatable model that will be used to benefit all diverse communities.”

Increasing diversity in wholesaling

The Coalition wants to increase knowledge of insurance wholesaling as a rewarding career path for diverse professionals by helping them network and advance in their careers.

Members commit to “fostering awareness and providing education and networking opportunities” to help diversify the talent pipeline.

While a 2020 study from McKinsey & Company entitled “Diversity wins: How inclusion matters” outlined that top-quartile performers in ethnic and cultural diversity outperformed others in profitability, it also showed that diverse companies still needed to ensure that employees feel included in order to remain and progress. This is why the Coalition ensures its members follow diverse recruitment with support and networking opportunities.

Partners and programmes

The Coalition will have the support of several resource partners, including the Association for Wholesaling Diversity (AWD), which has aided in the hiring, development, retention and career advancement for Black wholesalers in the financial services industry since 2016.

The Coalition has partnered with AWD on its first initiative to develop and offer a tuition-free Wholesaler Development Program (WDP). This is intended to equip students with the tools to become “best-qualified candidates” for opportunities in financial services wholesaling. They launched the inaugural programme in 2021 and plan to expand the number of participants in 2022.

They have also commissioned research conducted by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), a Coalition resource group, to serve as a benchmark to measure the current makeup of the wholesaling workforce, including the number of Black wholesalers. Expected to be completed in early 2022 and available by the spring, the research will inform the Coalition’s measurable outcomes and next steps to achieve them.

The first members of the Coalition, founded by financial services organisation Equitable include: AIG, The Association for Wholesaling Diversity, Brighthouse Financial, CeriFi, CUNA Mutual Group, Eagle Life Insurance Company, Equitable, Finseca, Global Atlantic Financial Group, Guardian, Insured Retirement Institute, Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Kaplan, LIMRA, Lincoln Financial Group, NAIFA, Nationwide, Pacific Life, Principal, Protective, Prudential, Securian Financial, The American College for Financial Services, and Zahn Associates.

Nick Lane, President of Equitable, said: “Our industry has long been committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion. However, we see that there is still progress to be made to build a workforce that reflects the makeup of our country and that provides the benefits of a career in financial services to all.

“We believe it is critically important to bring our industry together to support the work of our Black colleagues, expand our existing networks and educate college students and young professionals about wholesaling as an attractive career if we are to successfully increase the diversity of our own company and our industry at large.”

Marl┼Źn Hall, Founder and President of the Association for Wholesaling Diversity, said: “AWD works tirelessly to educate Black students and professionals about choosing financial services wholesaling as a career, plus our members, all of the industry’s Black wholesalers, network, mentor, coach and support each other via this community we’ve built.

“This partnership naturally scales these efforts up while providing a roadmap for the coalition’s broader attraction, retention and networking efforts.”

To find out more about the Coalition for Equity in Wholesaling, click here.

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