Kamila Elliott co-founded Collective Wealth Partners (CWP) in February 2022, when she realized that in all her prior roles in the financial planning industry, she’d had no clients of color. “I’d created plans for families to build generational wealth but was disappointed that an entire demographic of people—my people—were being excluded,” she says.
Today, Elliott’s registered investment advisory firm is not only serving communities of color, it also boasts one of the largest numbers of Black certified financial planning professionals in the country. And she has the dual distinction of being both the first Black person and first Black woman to hold the seat of chair of the CFP Board, the governing board for certified financial planner certification in the U.S.
Elliott ’99 Com, ’04 MBA Bus has focused on building wealth for her clients by removing barriers such as account minimums that frequently hold people of color back from accessing a financial planner. “Many of our clients are managing wealth for the first time and are faced with challenges on how to pay down debt, budget, invest, buy their first home, and create generational wealth,” she says. “Many first-generation investors have big goals. However, many have competing priorities, and we help them set attainable goals. That includes avoiding speculative and get-rich schemes that many people of color are vulnerable to.”
Prior to founding CWP, Elliott worked in various roles at Vanguard, where her closest mentors were Penn State alums. She’s aiming to grow CWP into the first Black-owned registered investment advisory firm with $1 billion under management. “We want to create a home for aspiring, diverse financial advisers and a place where diverse individuals can work with a team to meet their financial goals,” she says. —Parizaad Khan Sethi