The Securities Industry Association said Tuesday that it is looking for ways to help member firms increase diversity.

The association is seeking to increase the number of minority-owned firms and plans to develop a "best practices" guide this year. It is also asking members to support career fairs designed for minority applicants.

"The specific goals are to increase the diversity of the work force at all levels and also the client base," said a spokeswoman for the Securities Industry Association, which represents more than 740 securities firms.

The plan builds on a recent survey of the association's members. Ninety- five firms responded to the survey, which found that a number of initiatives to foster diversity had been successfully implemented. The study also found that women and minorities are still not represented in large numbers in the industry, particularly in institutional and investment banking and in retail management.

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