Adviser committed to diversifying financial industry

As an African American, Blaine Gibson is keenly aware of the lack of diversity in the financial industry and how that impacts communities of color and building generational wealth and economic stability.  

Gibson is quick to point out that financial literacy and growing financial wealth is not a typical conversation in the African American community.  

“I’ve seen very intelligent people make mistakes with money because they did not have access to the right information, so this has become a mission for me,” said Gibson, vice president-financial advisor with RBC Wealth Management in Mequon. “I want to teach people how to build wealth as opposed to just getting paid, just living paycheck to paycheck.”  

Gibson has been a thought partner, referral source and mentor in helping diversify the philanthropic sector, including alongside the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. For the impact he has made, the Foundation honored Gibson with its 2022 Herbert J. Mueller Outstanding Professional Adviser of the Year Award. The award recognizes professional advisers who build and deepen relationships with the Foundation.  

Gibson has been a longtime member of the Foundation’s Impact Investing Technical Subcommittee, is a member of the Development and Philanthropic Services Committee and played a key role in encouraging the Cedarburg Art Museum, of which he is a past president, to establish an agency endowment with the Foundation. He has been a strong supporter of the Foundation’s Community Adviser and Ambassador Network (formerly Young Professional Adviser Council), referring a number of financial and investment advisers of color.  

“I like the Foundation because I’ve always felt that if you are going to set up a donor advised fund, you want it to be focused on the community you live in. The Foundation excels at this,” said Gibson, who, along with his wife, Maureen, intends to create their own fund next year. “Plus, the resources the Foundation offers help me help my clients make informed decisions.”  

His many other community involvements include MKE Fellows, which supports academically talented African American young men through mentoring, training and internships with local businesses, and the Association of African American Financial Advisors, a leading networking organization. He also teaches financial literacy classes at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Concordia University.  

“I’ve been mentored by many people in life, beginning with my father,” Gibson said, “so working with people through these organizations is my way of giving back.”  

Addressing his future colleagues, Gibson added, “One thing I want to get across to African Americans trying to break into this business is that it can be intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. I’ve just got to get that message out to people earlier in their lives.” 

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