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AKEIVA ELLIS

Financial education specialist

Ballentine Partners

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Growing up in Brooklyn as a child of immigrants from the Caribbean island of Tobago, Akeiva Ellis saw everyone around her struggling with money. “I wanted to study money, even if I didn’t know exactly what that meant, so I searched on Google and discovered financial planning.” Her interest led to an undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in accounting and finance at age 19 and, a year later, a master’s in financial planning from Bentley University outside Boston. An internship at nearby Ballentine Partners led to a full-time job as a wealth planning associate in 2017. Credentialed with CPA, CFP and chartered special needs consultant designations, she works full-time with clients.

But her passion for those still struggling led Ellis and her husband to create a side business, The Bemused, a YouTube-based site helping young adults make sense of money. Ballentine liked what it saw and changed her job earlier this year so she could create content and financial educational strategies for the firm, in addition to serving as co-leader of its diversity, equity and inclusion task force.

Ellis, who’s a CFP Board ambassador and active in the Financial Planning Association’s Massachusetts chapter, says “one of my missions is to close the racial wealth gap.”

Evan Cooper