Here's the thing...there are a lot of women who are interested in those positions, AND women bring a lot of natural advantages that make them ideally suited for the role of financial adviser.
So what's going on? Where is the disconnect? Why aren't there more women advisers in the industry? And what can companies do about it?
How to attract women financial advisers
There are three secrets to attract and retain women financial advisers:
- Create teams
- Provide more training
- Create a culture that values women and men
We'll look more at 2 and 3 in upcoming posts, but right now let's look at why creating teams can be a key way to attract not only women advisers, but women clients as well.
Female advisers are attracted by the idea of working in teams. That's what Raymond James discovered.
When it comes to increasing the number of women advisers in the business, some female reps say this can best be supported through team building and succession.
“My theory is that women are more comfortable giving advice if they feel they have a high degree of competency,” said Starner. If they know they are set to be part of experienced teams, “Women will be more comfortable joining and being advisers.”
McNeil says that is certainly the case for her. “As part of my training, I joined a team one year ago,” she said. “I decided I wanted to join an established group and not go out on my own.”
For her—as well as for other advisers, young and old alike—it’s an issue of watching their own finances while striving to help their clients do the same. “It’s tough to be out on your own, in terms of financial stability. For me, it’s helpful that I can join a team through the training program.”
The team support can also help advisers better serve clients, other reps say.
“Many young people have not had the life experience of going through different markets and seeing lots of volatility,” said Jodi Perez, an affiliate of Raymond James’ independent channel in Land O’Lakes, Fla. “It’s a good choice to join a team.”
Generally speaking, women know they can’t do everything and be experts of everything, Perez says. And like their clients, they want to have backup at all times.
Here's another reason to look at creating teams. According to a Fidelity Investments survey of 1,207 advisers and brokers, advisers who are part of a team earn, on average, 32% more than their colleagues who are solo advisers. And advisers on a team earn about $296,210. Solo advisers average $223,859.
Why are teams so effective? In the Investment News article - Team members out-earning solo advisers — and by a lot they explore the issue:
The results are something of an eye-opener. “For the first time, there's hard data to show how effective teams are,” said Alexandra Taussig, senior vice president of National Financial, Fidelity's clearing arm.
Advisers on teams also are doing more to expand their businesses, with more of them shedding clients who aren't profitable, and networking more to attract new clients, according to the survey.
Most of the time, teams form between a junior and a senior financial adviser or through advisers who have different specialties, such as one who may be most familiar with estate planning and another who is up on the latest compliance issues, Ms. Taussig said.
Why women clients like working with teams
Working with a team isn't just a plus for women advisers, it's also a plus for women clients. All the reasons why advisers like teams are the same reasons why clients like working with teams: Clients get expanded expertise, subject matter experts, and a team of people who they can trust to work together to create a comprehensive plan.
The adviser relationship is still the key relationship. Women clients look to their adviser to the be the quarterback of their team.
What do you think? As an adviser, would you rather practice solo or as part of a team? And for women clients - would you prefer to work with a solo adviser or an adviser who was part of a team?
Stay tuned for part 2 and 3.