Howard Diamond Quoted
By Joan Warner
There’s an uncanny connection between the financial-advice business and the military. Big firms enthusiastically recruit veterans as FAs, many offering a special training channel for people transitioning from an armed-services career. The Internet and airwaves resound with the voices of former military personnel drawn to financial and investment coaching. And the mysterious radar that enables members of the different services to recognize one another — even years after they’re out of uniform — creates a vast network of prescreened potential employees.
Bank of America employs more than 7,000 veterans and members of the National Guard and Army Reserve, according to a spokesman, and plans to hire 10,000 more over the next several years. He could not say what percentage of Merrill FAs have a military background; nor do recruiters maintain statistics on the advice industry as a whole. But whereas 9% of the general U.S. adult population are veterans, the proportion among advisors appears to be considerably higher. At Edward Jones — this year named a Most Valuable Employer for Military by CivilianJobs.com — it was 15% in 2013. “Veterans are more mature, [are] well trained and have many of the traits and characteristics that go into making a good financial advisor,” writes Howard Diamond, managing director of Chester, N.J.-based recruiting firm Diamond Consultants, in an e-mail.