The reality in the male-dominated financial world is that many women investors would rather deal with a woman advisor than a man, which means firms have to start attracting women employees if they want to thrive, says Silviya Simeonova, a senior analyst for Corporate Insight.
A recent Corporate Insight study suggests as many as 70 percent of women want to deal with a female advisor. Firms also have to attract younger advisors and minorities to stay current and to ensure the longevity of the firm, says Corporate Insight, a research firm for the financial industry.
Firms need to reassess their recruiting efforts as the current crop of advisors, mostly older, white males, retires, Corporate Insight says. Women advisors want flexible hours, the ability to work from home, and their fair share of the big accounts, says Simeonova. Younger advisors not only want good pay and benefits, they also want jobs that make them feel fulfilled and valuable, she adds.
One way to encourage women, young advisors and minorities to join a firm is to use a collaborative approach or work in teams so that older advisors can mentor others, Corporate Insight says.
The survey included 1,000 advised investors, 200 self-directed investors and 500 financial advisors.
“Women will soon hold two-thirds of the transferred wealth, and they are achieving more high-powered positions all the time, which means they will be seeking financial advice,” Simeonova says. “They appreciate knowing the financial firm they go to is a diverse workplace.”
Of the investors surveyed, 34 percent of the male respondents had more than $1 million in investable assets, versus 25 percent of women. Sixty percent of the men earned more than $100,000 a year, versus half of the women.
“While a gender wealth and income gap may exist today, many indicators suggest that it is closing quickly,” Corporate Insight says. “Forty-six percent of the U.S. workforce is female, and this percentage is rising. Fifty-four percent of workers in high-paying management, professional and related positions are women.”
At the same time, the addition of young financial advisors to a firm should improve the firm’s ability to attract and satisfy a younger investor segment, Corporate Insight says. The survey asked financial advisors what they consider to be the biggest benefits of working in a team. The most popular answer was that clients receive better client service and communication (54 percent), followed closely by the fact that teams enable the advisor to serve a larger client base (53 percent).