New Initiative Aims to Support the Unique Needs of African American Financial Professionals and Clients
PHILADELPHIA (BUSINESS WIRE), April 14, 2021 - Lincoln Financial Network (LFN), the retail wealth management affiliate of Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC), today announced the launch of its African American Financial Professional Network (AAFPN), a new enterprise-wide initiative designed to better support the unique needs of African American financial professionals and clients.
The AAFPN is part of Lincoln Financial Group’s ongoing action plan to advance racial equity, and to driving meaningful, measurable change. The AAFPN is designed to support advisor development efforts, attract more Black financial professionals to LFN, and to help define new strategies for supporting multicultural clients.
“Lincoln has made commitments to amplify our support of racial justice – taking action around our talent practices, our business, how we’ll track our progress in Diversity & Inclusion, and how we’ll help our communities,” said David Berkowitz, president of LFN. “The AAFPN is a critical component of that commitment to lifting up and supporting our African American financial professionals. We have significant work to do but I am excited about the work this network has undertaken and I look forward to the progress we will make together as a team.”
The Network’s core objectives center on inspiring African Americans to pursue opportunities in financial services to increase the overall number of Black financial professionals in the industry; supporting new and experienced LFN African American financial professionals in the growth and development of their practice through strategic partnerships and mentoring; and providing financial wellness education to Black communities to help with financial preparedness. Overseeing the Network is a leadership committee from Lincoln Financial including Network Director, Nicole Spinelli; current board chair, Kelby Edwards; LFN affiliated financial professionals, Sandi Becks, Carl Myers, Lawrence Smith and Caira White; and LFN leadership board members, Celeste Gurule, Vice President and Managing Director, Financial Professionals Group; and LFN Senior Vice President, Ed Walters.
Recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor indicate that African American financial managers, investment analysts and personal financial advisors make up just a small fraction, less than ten percent, of the finance industry. These statistics showcase the need for investment in African American communities about financial wellness and the career opportunities associated with the industry.
“Many African Americans find themselves isolated or without the necessary resources to help them succeed in the financial planning industry,” said Kelby Edwards, chairman of the AAFPN. “The AAFPN is designed and directed by African American professionals for African American professionals. We strongly believe the programs, events, and platforms developed by the AAFPN will help foster greater interaction and support for Black financial professionals to help address the issues impacting our communities. Empowering and growing our network of African American financial professionals will have an extremely positive effect on our industry by increasing the number of Black financial professionals now and for the next generation.”
THE AAFPN was modeled after Lincoln’s successful WISE Group. The WISE Group (Women Inspiring, Supporting and Education) has been striving to better support the unique needs of female financial advisors and their clients since it was formed by Lincoln Financial Network in 2015. To read more about each of Lincoln’s eight diversity action areas and the progress made visit the Lincoln Newsroom.
About Lincoln Financial Network
Lincoln Financial Network is the marketing name for the retail sales and financial planning affiliates of Lincoln Financial Group and includes Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. and Lincoln Financial Securities Corp., both members of FINRA and SIPC. Consisting of approximately 14,000 representatives, agents, and full-service financial planners throughout the United States, Lincoln Financial Network professionals can offer financial planning and advisory services, retirement services, life products, annuities, investments, and trust services to affluent individuals, business owners, and families. Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (LNC) and its affiliates. Find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help people take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, and guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $303 billion in end-of-period account values as of December 31, 2020. Lincoln Financial Group is a committed corporate citizen included on major sustainability indices including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and FTSE4Good. Dedicated to diversity and inclusion, we earned perfect 100 percent scores on the Corporate Equality Index and the Disability Equality Index, and rank among Forbes’ World’s Best Employers, Best Large Employers, Best Employers for Diversity, and Best Employers for Women, and Newsweek’s Most Responsible Companies. Learn more at: www.LincolnFinancial.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Sign up for email alerts at http://newsroom.lfg.com.