After unveiling plans in December to launch an entrepreneurial platform designed to support minority-led financial advisory firms, financial advisors Dasarte Yarnway and Emlen Miles-Mattingly have announced that the Onyx Advisor Network will officially open its doors on May 9. Financial advisors of color, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and anyone who feels marginalized by the financial services industry can join Onyx a $549 monthly subscription.
Having both been denied entry into the financial services industry earlier in their careers, Yarnway and Miles-Mattingly founded Onyx to address the wealth gap in the U.S. and provide historically underrepresented advisors with technology tools, custodial access, investment management resources, an inclusive community, and coaching support.
“In developing Onyx, Emlen and I are driven to empower underrepresented advisors with the tools, technology and resources needed to build sustainable careers in our profession,” said Yarnway, who has his own financial advisory firm, Berknell Financial Group. “By breaking down the barriers to entry and providing Onyx advisors with access to some of the best resources our industry has to offer – at an affordable cost – we are addressing the diversity challenge in our industry and forcing systemic change in underserved communities.”
Earlier this year, Yarnway told ETF Trends that his vision for the Onyx platform was “to have our industry look more like our country.”
“Right now that’s not the case,” Yarnway said, explaining that he attended a conference in Las Vegas where he and Miles-Mattingly “were two of five Black men in the entire conference” of about 1200 advisors.
Subscribers to the network will receive access to a bundled technology stack, including Altruist, MessageWatcher, Envestnet|MoneyGuide, RightCapital, Synergy RIA Compliance Solutions, and Wealthbox. Network advisors will have the option to invest client assets in the “Onyx Model Portfolios” powered by the portfolio management expertise of Vanguard, as well as Alpha Architect. Advisors will also have access to a community of financial advisors and coaching development resources, as well as access to preferred rates at Onyx’s supplemental partners, including Carson Coaching, Encorestate, Holistiplan, National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, Shaping Wealth, and Snappy Kraken, with others to follow.
According to the CFP Board’s most recent study, fewer than a quarter of certified financial planners are women, fewer than 5% are Black or Latino, and 4% are Asian or Pacific Islander.
“When Dasarte and I hear these numbers, we feel it is the responsibility of all of us to take meaningful action to welcome minority professionals into this space,” said Miles-Mattingly, who runs his own financial advisory firm, Gen Next Wealth. “Creating Onyx is the tangible manifestation of how Dasarte, our partners and I will lead our industry by making financial services a viable career for people of every skin color, gender, sexual orientation, and background.”
In February, Miles-Mattingly told ETF Trends that he feels it’s essential to help people of color build their wealth and plan their financial futures “because no one else is doing it.”
“I see myself in my clients. I know what it’s like to not understand my financial products, to not know things people think I should already know,” he said, noting that “there’s no place in the financial services industry” for people who don’t know the difference between an IRA and a 401(k) or what a mutual fund is.
Advisors in the Onyx community will also receive a discounted rate to attend its first in-person community gathering at the Future Proof Festival on September 11–14 in Huntington Beach, CA.
Advisors interested in joining the Onyx Advisor Network can visit onyxadvisornetwork.com.
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