EP Wealth Advisors LLC, a leading independent registered investment advisor, has opened applications for the first annual Ballou/EP Wealth Diversity in Financial Services Scholarship. The program will provide a one-time scholarship and mentoring opportunities for students pursuing CFP certification. It is named in honor of Lynn Ballou, CFP Emeritus, a former senior vice president and partner at EP Wealth. Ballou is a columnist for Rethinking65.
“The scholarship extends Ballou’s mission of supporting more diverse voices in the financial services industry and is designed to identify and elevate the next generation of financial services leaders without regard for background,” says the firm’s release. EP Wealth is providing initial funding for the scholarship. Employees, clients and friends of the firm are actively contributing for future awards, which are being administered in partnership with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).
“This scholarship is a continuation of Lynn’s lifelong commitment to mentorship and diversity within our industry,” Patrick Goshtigian, CEO of EP Wealth, said in the release. “We hope this scholarship will empower underrepresented groups pursuing the CFP certification and provide them with opportunities for growth and advancement.”
Ballou told Rethinking65, “EP came up with an amazing retirement gift — so much better than a gold watch or a plaque. Incredibly meaningful and humbling … Hope it’s inspiring and that many benefit from it over the years.”
Commitment to financial planning
Ballou joined EP Wealth in 2016 when her firm Ballou Plum Wealth Advisors partnered with EP. She played an active role in driving EP’s growth, helping to attract top talent and teams.
“Ballou is regarded as a trailblazer in the financial services industry,” EP Wealth said. She has long advocated for increased diversity, mentorship and opportunities for a broader range of advisors. An active member of the CFP Board throughout her career, Ballou served for more than a decade as the CFP Board of Standards Ambassador in San Francisco. She retired from her advisory career in 2022.
The scholarship program is open to U.S. residents enrolled in a CFP Board-registered certificate or undergraduate program, or planning to matriculate in a CFP Board-registered certificate program within six months of application/award. Candidates must demonstrate financial need and a commitment to the financial planning profession.
Breaking down barriers
“We believe that diversity of thought and background is vital to creating a more inclusive financial planning profession, while also yielding a better experience for all investors,” said Ballou in the release. “We take this responsibility seriously, and this scholarship will help break down barriers for underrepresented groups pursuing careers in this field.”
Candidates wishing to apply must submit an application via NAPFA, which includes an essay and interview process. The winner will be announced in June 2023. For additional information on the scholarship and qualifications, please visit www.epwealth.com.