Gateway To Leadership is entering its third year and, with the upcoming summer class, has placed 75 financial services students from minority communities in summer internship programs in firms that are members of The Money Management Institute, based in Washington, D.C.

Gateway to Leadership places financial students from historically black colleges and universities in internship programs sponsored by member firms and then continues to provide career guidance for them. MMI is a national organization representing the managed account industry. The Gateway program is sponsored in conjunction with the NAACP and is designed to increase minority representation in the financial services industry.

According to the federal Glass Ceiling Commission, African-Americans make up less than 6% of the executives, managers and administrators in the financial industry and only 4% of the total number of executives, managers and administrators in all business services. The Gateway programs is aimed at increasing representation for African-Americans, as well as Hispanics, Asian, American Indians, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

Chuck Widger, chairman and CEO of Brinker Capital and the architect of the Gateway program, says, "Both parties gain incomparable experience from the (Gateway) program. The sponsoring firms have access to a pool of extraordinarily talented students who have the chance to explore financial services as a career path."

At the MMI convention in Philadelphia, a dinner will be held March 26 to honor the firms in the managed solutions industry that have demonstrated innovation and growth, with all proceeds from the dinner going to the Gateway To Leadership program.