Richard Bernstein Advisors begins a scholarship on the traditionally black Spelman School

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wealth management firm Richard Bernstein Advisors announced Monday that it has funded a Spelman College scholarship to help bring more black workers into their industry.

The scholarship provides tuition fees for a student's junior and senior years at Spelman, a historically black college for women in Atlanta. The recipient will also take part in a summer internship with Richard Bernstein Advisors (RBA).

Richard Bernstein, the company's executive director, said the difficulty in finding black candidates was what prompted the scholarship to start. The company of more than 30 has no black employees. Small businesses like sein, Bernstein said, don't have the recruiting skills of larger asset managers and may be less visible to black talent.

"If your workforce is overwhelmingly white, you don't have access to word of mouth so you have no connections," he said.

Several other financial institutions have pledged money to educate black students as the Black Lives Matter movement has once again attracted attention. Charles Schwab (NYSE 🙂 Corp and Synovus (NYSE 🙂 Financial Corp announced scholarships this summer. On Wednesday, the US bank announced the funding of several organizations, including the United Negro College Fund, as part of a $ 116 million pledge to "eliminate social and economic inequalities."

The statements and initiatives of some companies on racial diversity have aroused skepticism about its ultimate impact, particularly about the employment of racist minorities in these companies. Wells Fargo (NYSE 🙂 & Co boss criticized after pointing out that there weren't enough qualified minority talent.

"Every organization has a laundry list of programs they run," said John Wilson, director of engagement at Calvert Research and Management. "But the data from these companies is still lacking in terms of representation."

Bernstein hopes the RBA scholarship will address this lack of representation in his own company, even if it has limited implications beyond that.

"Are we going to have the impact of a bank hiring 50 people a year? Of course not," he said. "But can we influence two or three students a year in a meaningful way? Yes, I think we can."

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