WSR Pathfinder Awards – Top Black Leaders in Wealth Management

WSR Recognizes Alex David, Kevin Beard, Emlen Miles-Mattingly and Dasarte Yarnway in Inaugural Diversity Award Series

As referenced in earlier issues, we’re pleased to conclude Black History Month, with the launch of our invitation only WSR Pathfinder Awards, which celebrates diversity and inclusivity, and with the selection of three awardees under the Top Black Leaders in Wealth Management category.

Julius Buchanan, Senior Contributing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

For this category, we have chosen to honor two individuals who have demonstrated remarkable leadership in our industry and one duo that cooperates on a noble mission specifically designed to assist underrepresented advisors in growing their business.

Showing the growing enthusiasm across the wealth management space for progress on diversity and inclusivity, our team at WSR received an exceptionally large volume of solicited – and, in many instances, unsolicited – nominations for this round of our Pathfinder Awards.

INLCLUSION is the celebration of DIVERSITY put into action.

We worked through an extremely competitive process with multiple candidates to arrive at the final list of three honorees, reviewing criteria such as the years in the industry of each candidate, their accomplished work, brands supported, commitment and passion and visibility within the industry.

We believe the recipients reflect an excellent cross section of remarkably accomplished senior executives by any standard of measure.

Great leaders don’t tell you what to do.
They show you how it’s done.

Their professional achievements are all the more impressive because they have successfully broken through the glass ceiling that frequently forms an unmovable fixture in so many sectors, including wealth management.  

Driving a level of cultural diversity that accurately represents the makeup of our country’s current economy and society remains a work in progress for our industry.

With that said, following are our three honorees – Please join us in congratulating them. 

Kevin Beard, Chief Growth Officer at Atria Wealth Solutions

Kevin Beard, Chief Growth Officer, Atria Wealth Solutions

It’s hard to find a former broker-dealer executive who leaves the comfort and security of an industry leader like Advisor Group to join forces with a couple of upstart entrepreneurs from the wirehouse channel who are focused on creating a new force to be reckoned with in the independent advisor channel, but Kevin Beard is definitely among them. 

Mr. Beard left Advisor Group to become one of the founding leaders of Atria Wealth Solutions, backed by Lee Equity Partners, which has rapidly developed into a powerhouse independent wealth management firm in a short span of five years, rocketing to the size of an industry giant with 2,500 financial professionals supported and $100 billion in client assets. 

As a corporate executive to independent entrepreneur and industry leader, Kevin Beard’s story is unique to the industry and a testament to the incredible growth that the executive team at Atria Wealth Solutions has generated.

Alex David, President and CEO, Stifel Independent Advisors

Alex David, President and CEO of Stifel Independent Advisors

Alex David’s multi-decade career as an independent channel leader within well-known wirehouses required a special combination of industry knowledge and expertise combined with relationship management skills to navigate the delicate balance that exists in an independent subsidiary owned by a wirehouse. 

For many years, Mr. David successfully helped create some of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network’s most successful years of growth before joining Stifel Financial Group, the global investment bank and high net worth wealth manager last year as the CEO and President of the company’s relatively small, but in large part thanks to Mr. David and his team, fast-growing independent firm Stifel Independent Advisors.

Since joining the firm, Mr. David has brought in new key leadership team members, reinvigorated recruiting and put Stifel Independent Advisors very much on the map.

Emlen Miles-Mattingly, Co-Founder, Onyx Advisor Network

Emlen Miles-Mattingly and Dasarte Yarnway, Co-Founders of Onyx Advisor Network

Dasarte Yarnway, Co-Founder, Onyx Advisor Network

Where Alex David and Kevin Beard have built very successful careers and businesses largely within the dual-registrant segment of the independent wealth management space, there’s no question that the RIA segment continues to attract significant attention and growth investment, to say nothing of outsized expansion opportunities. 

Emlen Miles-Mattingly and Dasarte Yarnway’s Onyx Advisor Network captured these trends very effectively with an eye towards improving diversity in our industry, introducing a truly digital and modern appeal to the traditional RIA structure with the empowerment of the entire suite of resources minority advisors need and in the process launching a business that shows every sign of continued robust growth potential.  

Glass ceilings don’t break themselves.

Before co-founding Onyx Advisor Network, each of these executives founded a successful firm and spent years working towards diversity and inclusion in the wealth management space. 

Mr. Miles-Mattingly, President, CEO and Founder of financial planning firm Gen Next Wealth, works tirelessly to create internship opportunities for aspiring Black and LatinX financial planners. Mr. Yarnway, Founder and Managing Director of RIA Berknell Financial Group, authored three Amazon bestsellers. Both host their own podcast.

Julius Buchanan, Senior Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at


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