Birmingham, Alabama


In 1991, James E. Nevels had a vision – to create a financial advisory organization dedicated to independent, unconflicted service to clients. With just a pen, pad of paper and his deep desire to turn his vision into something truly tangible, Jim set to work at a picnic table in the attic of his Swarthmore, Pennsylvania home. His first order of business was to return to where it all began…Alabama. It was there, in 1952, where Jim was born to young African American parents – a time when the odds were not in his favor. However, Jim’s years of perseverance and countless hours of intense work paid off when his trip home in 1992 turned into an opportunity to manage a $35 million mandate for the City of Birmingham – The Swarthmore Group’s first client.

Today, The Swarthmore Group is one of the oldest, active, minority-owned registered investment advisors headquartered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Mr. Nevels’ vision and values are deeply rooted in the firm, and are embraced by our team of passionate professionals. Understanding what is important to our clients and helping them build a solid path to achieve those goals is the hallmark of The Swarthmore Group.


We are dedicated to understanding our clients’ goals and delivering solutions to achieve those goals in an independent and unconflicted manner.

We conduct our business with honesty and integrity, always placing our clients first.

We embrace our differences, and leverage them to create truly unique opportunities for our clients, our communities and each other.

We believe in continuously improving our processes, procedures and outputs in an effort to better serve our clients

We continuously strive to build a lasting, multi-generational firm, providing long-term value for our clients.

  • 1992

    Our first foray into equities: “Can you keep it simple with names we recognize?”​

    Solution: Large Cap Core Equity

  • 2000

    “We want more exposure to fixed income.”

    Solution: Core, Intermediate, and Short Duration Fixed Income

  • 2006

    “Our healthcare costs increase year after year.  How can we hedge inflation costs?”

    Solution: Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS)

  • 2010

    “We need to match our assets to our liabilities.”

    Solution: Liability Driven Investment - Fixed Income

  • 2012

    “We have fully funded our trust and never want to ask the shareholders to do so again.”

    Solution: A portfolio was built to preserve capital and take advantage of opportunities as they occur.

  • 2013

    “Is active equity management antiquated?”

    Solution: A refined equity process incorporating an enhanced bottom-up fundamental investing approach with sector ETFs to allow for more nimble portfolio construction

  • 2016

    “We want a low cost, passive approach.”

    Solution: An enhanced passive strategy based upon a quantitative factor that has been in use at our firm for nearly two decades

  • 2018

    “We need independent and unbiased advice to manage managers.”

    Solution: We began providing assistance to an existing client to create a defined benefit plan.

  • 2019

    “How should we manage our personal accounts?”

    Solution: Our wealth management business assists individual clients with meeting their financial goals in a tax efficient manner

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