“Diversity of people and thinking paves the way for a brighter future” —Chris Richardson

THRIVE Center for Diversity & Inclusion
The Diversity Elevates Initiative offers guidance for the advisor community, from the forward looking perspective that racial and ethnic diversity is imperative to advancing the financial advice profession. The Initiative offers both educational resources and an ongoing forum of advisors to learn from each other, to help the advisor community continually enhance their understanding of the barriers of entry and cultural barriers that exist in order to create a business that will thrive to meet the expectations of a diverse marketplace. 







Diversity & Inclusion Week

Spend the week obtaining advice and new strategies from our network of experts in the field. Help expand your horizons when it comes to the diverse needs of investors across the spectrum and take back ideas to your own business. Throughout the week we will be featuring a variety of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs to help you stay plugged into the evolving needs of more inclusive advising. Through different learning channels, we will be bringing you podcast, blogs, courses, events, and forums to interact and engage in too. Won’t you join us? 

June 14-20, 2021
Learn more here


Activating Professional Communities to Narrow the Equity Gap Caused by COVID-19

All the research points toward the much-widened gap for women and minority groups in 2021 that is a direct outcome of COVID-19. There are fewer women and minority groups in the workplace and the pay equity has now broadened beyond our pre-COVID efforts, but what can we do about that? We know that differences make us better and deliver superior performance for the financial industry and clients. We must recruit, retain, and advance individuals who reflect our diverse world.

Professional communities can play a role in developing diverse talent and leveling the playing field. Activating the mission-based community along with industry initiatives, a powerful REAL framework emerges:

  • Recruit – Attract and retain strong talent
  • Engage – Get involved and contribute
  • Advance – Develop the next generation of leaders
  • Lead – Set the example that diversity and inclusion are critical to business growth and have sustainability

Cost: Complimentary with the option to donate

June 17, 2021 | 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EST

Register Now


Sponsored by:


Karen Heath-Wade, CIMA® 

Global Senior Vice President
Head Client Strategy & Service
American Century Investments


Karen is responsible for ensuring efficient and effective partnership and execution internally, as well as evolving client engagement strategy to enable client and business development outcomes. Before joining American Century Investments in 2018, Karen was Director, Head of U.S. Sales for Allianz. Previously, she was Vice President of Mutual Fund Sales, Head of Distribution for Nationwide Financial Services. Karen has worked in the investment industry since 1999. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Mount Holyoke College, a master’s in business administration from Loyola University, has earned her CIMA designation and is a Certified Business Coach.


Ronald Reeves, CAIA

Chief Diversity Officer
Human Resources
American International Group, Inc.


Ronald Reeves, CDP is currently AIG’s Chief Diversity Officer. He has worked for AIG for 21 years. Prior to assuming the CDO role, Ronald was Head of Diversity & Inclusion for the United States, Canada, Latin America & Caribbean for four years. He is responsible for partnering with AIG’s leaders, managers and employees to design, develop and implement a sustainable and measurable D& I strategy that focuses on talent, workplace and the marketplace. Ronald is a Certified Diversity Professional.

Under Ronald’s leadership, AIG has been named to the DiversityInc’s Top 50 List for the past four years. In 2021, AIG was ranked #37. AIG was ranked No. 38 in 2020, No. 39 in 2019 and No. 45 in 2018. AIG placed 5th on DiversityInc’s Top Companies for Employee Resource Groups list for 2021. AIG has also been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality by the Human rights Campaign for nine consecutive years.

Ronald is a seasoned financial services industry training & leadership development professional. With over 20 years of insurance industry experience, he has extensive global leadership and management development experience. He has traveled to over 25 different countries in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific facilitating leadership, management and professional development programs. He is a skilled presenter, facilitator, sales trainer, instructional designer, project manager, executive/sales/life coach & learning officer. Ronald has deep expertise in sales training/coaching, business/technical training as well as management, leadership and professional development. He holds numerous learning & development certifications such as Achieve Global, DDI, Wilson Learning, Results Coaching Systems, MBTI and Facet 5 to name a few.

Ronald also has experience writing state training grant proposals as well as administering million dollar grants. He is a former award winning Sales Agent & Sales Manager for Allstate Insurance Company. Ronald is passionate about diversity & inclusion, leadership/executive development as well as improving sales revenue/production. He received his B.A. in Journalism from San Jose State University. Ronald resides in Los Angeles.



Desiree Maldonado, CIMA®, CPWA®, CFP® 

Financial Advisor
Popular Securities, LLC 


Desiree Maldonado, CIMA®, CPWA®, CFP®, is a financial advisor at Popular Securities, LLC. Maldonado has served clients with Popular, Inc. since 2004. With over 20 years of experience, Maldonado has dedicated her career to assisting high net worth individuals and families manage and preserve their assets. Maldonado and her team offer comprehensive investment and financial planning services, and she specializes in helping clients plan for financial independence, manage risk, and plan their legacies. She has the unique distinction of being the first CPWA certificant in Puerto Rico and one of only a handful in Puerto Rico to have earned the CIMA, CPWA and CFP designations. Maldonado has been an active member of the Institute since 2004 and has served as chair of the CPWA Certification Commission.



Recent Events


Building Trust Within Diverse Teams Webinar

Today’s organizations face a dynamic and challenging competitive landscape. The ability to attract, engage, and retain employees have become crucial to an organization’s success. Studies have shown that high-performing teams are the foundation for creating competitive advantage. Recognizing the underlying individual differences and perspectives can help build teams that are able to overcome dysfunctional barriers and ensure performance. Tune into this session to learn some best practices for building a trusting relationship with employees and clients.

February 10, 2021 | 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. ET | 1 CE credit     

  Sponsored by:  RBC Wealth Management       FlexShares