Morningstar - Q4 2020 - 86

Investors

Yet it has been shown that diverse firms
outperform homogeneous ones. For example,
companies with above-average diversity
scores derive 45% of their total revenue from new
products and services launched over the
past three years compared with 26% of revenue
for businesses with below-average
diversity scores, according to a 2017 study by
Boston Consulting Group.

in alternative assets, such as real estate, private
equity, and franchise opportunities.
Entrepreneurship Started Young

Boomer grew up in Somerset, New Jersey, about
35 miles southwest of New York City. He
embraced entrepreneurship at an early age, selling
Blow Pops out of his locker in seventh grade.
When he turned 16, his parents told him he would

	
Talent in the world is evenly distributed, but
opportunity is not. Because Wall Street has
historically done poorly with diversity, the industry
has missed out on a lot of talent.
Allan Boomer

as a wealth manager, where he accumulated
assets, making roughly 20 cold calls a day
from 2005 to 2007. By 2010, he was managing $400
million in assets, $250 million of which
he brought into the firm himself. He left that
year to work with a mentor at Fiduciary
Management Group, taking only $7 million with
him, as most clients stayed behind.
When he set out on his own in 2012, his book
of business was about $25 million. He had
a mission based on a Maya Angelou quote: "Don't
make money your goal. Instead, pursue the
things you love doing, and then do them so well
people can't take their eyes off you."
Another motivation came from an earlier
experience in his career, when one day a white,
senior, gray-haired advisor asked him, "Why
would somebody choose you?" Boomer didn't
answer the question out loud. But every
day since then, he says he answers the question
in his head, telling the gentleman that
he would outwork him, coming in earlier and
leaving later.
Using Tech to Level the Field

"Diverse teams make better decisions, period,"
Boomer says. "Nondiverse firms are the
horse and buggies of our industry. Diversity is
a huge part of our competitive advantage."
Boomer's success only adds to the evidence:
As of August, his firm had amassed $233
million in assets under management, split roughly
between private and institutional clients.
The firm also has $170 million in assets under
advisement for institutions.
Momentum Advisors generally works with
clients with $250,000 in assets or more, providing
a full range of financial planning for multigenerational families, entrepreneurs, board
members, endowments, foundations, pensions,
defined-contribution plans, and charitable
organizations. His book of business also includes
athletes, such as former professional
football players. The firm also has a brokerage
that sells insurance to his clients, under
the name Momentum Risk Management, and
works with clients with excess capital to invest

102
86

Morningstar Q4 2020

have to earn his own spending money, so he went
to work, getting his first job at Roy Rogers, frying
chicken and flipping burgers.
He went to Morgan State University, a historically
Black college in Baltimore, Maryland, where
he earned cash giving $5 haircuts in his dorm.
He then formed a barbershop by recruiting
friends and earning a cut of their proceeds. He and
his friends also sold roses on the street on
Valentine's Day, then parlayed the proceeds into
organizing parties and charging admission.
That led to organizing bus trips for spring break at
Daytona Beach, Florida, packing four students
to a room and grossing around $50,000.
In the process, Boomer liked being his own boss.
"We could print money through entrepreneurship,"
he says.
After graduation, he worked at Merrill Lynch,
yet also moonlighted doing people's
tax returns. He later got his MBA at New York
University's Stern School of Business,
then joined Goldman Sachs Group, working

Beyond grit, he knew he could level the
playing field with the big firms with the right
technology. He chose Morningstar's
Office suite. The platform allowed him to construct
portfolios, model portfolio retirement cash
flow, research mutual fund and separate account
managers, and offer portfolio performance
tools. (Recently, he added an Office feature that
allows clients to run their own reports.)
"I was promising a Goldman-caliber experience
for folks who don't have Goldman money-
that was my initial tag line-and I can't
do that unless my technology makes me look
a certain way."
Assets started accumulating, allowing Boomer
to recruit his diverse team over the years.
He hired partners Tiffany McGhee, who is Black,
in 2013, and William Platt, who is white, in
2014. Tiffany Hawkins, who is Black and who hosts
The Momentum Advisors on SiriusXM with Boomer,
came on board in 2014 and serves as chief
operating officer. Earl Carr, who is of Chinese and
Jamaican descent, joined in 2014 to help build



Morningstar - Q4 2020

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Morningstar - Q4 2020 - Cover1
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