Onyx Advisor Network is a new platform designed to support underrepresented advisers by providing them with resources, tools, and networking. The founders, Dasarte Yarnway and Emlen Miles-Mattingly, discussed their plans for the platform and their vision of how to diversify the industry and remove gatekeepers in the InvestmentNews livestream hosted by Steve Lamb.
Founders of Onyx talk about the platform
The platform supports all financial advisers, but specifically those who are underrepresented within the industry and gives them a chance to be seen and heard, along with a feeling of community.
“When we say underrepresented, we mean people of color, right? Women, women of color, people of the LGBTQ+ community that need a home or a seat at this table to be able to build their best lives through their practices,” Yarnway said.
Miles-Mattingly agreed, mentioning a conference where he saw a group of 15 underrepresented advisers among about 1,000 attendees and felt the significance of community, noting that there were shared conversations among the group and a feeling of unity over the fact that they were a few within a crowd of many.
He also described the importance of allowing people from diverse backgrounds to share their input and ideas within the finance industry. “If we want to change the complexion of wealth, we need more messengers to tell this message to the people that need to hear it,” Miles-Mattingly said.
Overall, the platform gives advisers who are not always heard or represented a sense of belonging. Onyx supports advisers’ ability to say to themselves, “I belong in every room that I’m in” Yarnway said.
It helps advisers to grow their firms and not be afraid to reach out for help, in what Yarnway described as the push-pull model. “That pretty much means if you are doing something incredible, if you’re onward to greatness, continue as a colleague and push that person forward,” he said. “But if you’re behind me and you’re coming up in the industry, I have a responsibility to pull you through the same doors and fight you through the same tables and give you the same opportunities that I have the benefit of having.”
The network is about inclusivity, not about removing anyone from the table, Yarnway said, but “growing the room, it’s bringing everybody in. And I love that message.”
Tune in Tuesday for the full interview.
Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.