Research shows that only 4% of employees in the financial services industry identify as diverse

ATLANTA, GA, April 29, 2021 — INROADS, Inc. — a global solutions provider for addressing community disparities and talent pipeline issue challenges — has joined Houlihan Lokey, Inc. — a premier global investment bank — to address diversity and career opportunities in the financial services industry. INROADS’ services are needed more than ever in the financial services industry. Research shows that only 4% of employees in financial services identify as diverse.

In response to these challenges, Houlihan Lokey is partnering with INROADS as a collaboration sponsor of its Financial Services Institute (IFSI). Financial Services Institute is a diverse talent pipeline program launched in 2019 by JPMorgan Chase, through its Advancing Black Pathway initiative, to promote successful careers in the financial services industry for diverse talent.

Through this exciting partnership, INROADS and Houlihan Lokey will lead the way in providing promising young people from diverse backgrounds with an enhanced pathway to identify, prepare for and pursue fulfilling careers in the financial services industry. Houlihan Lokey and INROADS are proud to be taking these important steps to identify, nurture, develop and onboard diverse talent to careers at Houlihan Lokey and in the broader financial services industry. INROADS’ Financial Services Institute has already garnered important results in this area, and the partnership with Houlihan Lokey will extend and broaden this impact.

“We take seriously our 50-year commitment to connecting the talented and underrepresented to opportunities to lead in corporate America and as entrepreneurs,” said Forest Harper, Jr., president and CEO, INROADS, Inc.

“We are deeply committed to having an impact in the lives of young people of diverse backgrounds seeking to prepare for and build careers in our industry. In doing so, we strive also to position Houlihan Lokey as a positive force for change in the financial services industry,” said David Preiser, co-president, Houlihan Lokey.

INROADS’ track record of impact extends well beyond making corporate boardrooms more diverse. They have recently revealed data that show that it is also helping to close America’s racial wealth gap. According to CareerTrackers, INROADS alumni attain greater levels of wealth than that of their white, college-educated counterparts. As found in the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances, approximately 37% of college-educated white households have a net worth range of $500,000 to $5 million. In comparison, 40% of INROADS alumni have the same net worth range. Research also reveals that 71.3% of white families own their homes. INROADS alumni outpace this with 76% of their alumni being homeowners.

“When you connect diverse, talented and underrepresented youth to high-wage careers, you do more than provide them with a job. You are changing their trajectory and providing a bridge to wealth accumulation that could last for generations,” said Harper.

INROADS’ Financial Services Institute at Houlihan Lokey will be an extension of their newly established Rising Leaders program. In the second summer of college, recruiters from Houlihan Lokey immerse top candidates from diverse backgrounds in a leadership-intensive program that aims to develop top talent and prepare them to compete effectively and successfully for careers at the company. With INROADS, this education and development process will be broadened and enhanced to assist a greater number of promising diverse candidates to achieve their goals and aspirations.


INROADS is the world’s largest nonprofit organization committed to developing the leadership of talented and underrepresented youth. With more than 30,000 alumni worldwide, INROADS has contributed to increases in the number of C-suite executives in corporate America. Founded in 1970, INROADS’ record of impact extends more than 50 years. For more information, visit

About Houlihan Lokey

Houlihan Lokey (NYSE:HLI) is a global investment bank with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial restructuring, and valuation. The firm serves corporations, institutions, and governments worldwide with offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. Independent advice and intellectual rigor are hallmarks of the firm’s commitment to client success across its advisory services. Houlihan Lokey is the No. 1 M&A advisor for the past six consecutive years in the U.S., the No. 1 global restructuring advisor for the past seven consecutive years, and the No. 1 global M&A fairness opinion advisor over the past 20 years, all based on number of transactions and according to data provided by Refinitiv.