Wells Fargo Focuses on LGBT Customers

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Wells Fargo conducted a survey among LGBT investors and found they are more confident in regards to their retirement than their heterosexual counterparts.

The survey found that 61 percent of LGBT non-retirees felt confident they would have enough saved by the time they retire to live the lifestyle they want throughout their retirement. While only 53 percent of the general population felt the same way. Other findings include 36 percent of LGBT non-retirees expect they will need to work during retirement in order to afford their lifestyle, while 41 percent of the general population said the same thing.

In order to address the needs of financial planning for same-sex couples, Wells Fargo worked with the College of Financial Planning to develop the Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor (ADPA). The program was opened to all advisors in late 2010. Now the company boasts about 270 accredited advisers across the country with nine being in Florida.

“[The LGBT] community has a big need for advisers that have specialized skills in that area,” said a Wells Fargo South Florida financial advisor, Melvin D. Kornegay. “Wells Fargo is highly geared to diversity in the workplace across all sectors. Diversity is very strong. There are annual conferences for the ADPA advisers.”

Kornegay said that because the Federal government does not recognize marriage, even though some states do, it creates a unique set of challenges for same-sex couples. But that may all change soon.

“There’s a court case that’s being closely watched by advisors, Windsor v. United States,” he said. “This case could have a very big impact on the benefits afforded the same-sex couples.”

The case challenges Section 3 of the Defense of the Marriage Act on the basis that it unfairly forced Edith “Edie” Windsor, 83, to pay more than $363,000 dollars in estate taxes upon the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer, in 2009.


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