Most Women Aren’t Swayed By Gender When Choosing An Advisor – Survey

Editorial Staff 4 December 2023

Most Women Aren’t Swayed By Gender When Choosing An Advisor – Survey

While debate remains on how to encourage more women to enter the wealth management industry, a survey suggests that gender isn't necessarily a deal-breaker for choosing an advisor.

A survey of women by Schroders finds that more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of them don’t consider the gender of an advisor as relevant to choosing them. 

The study from the UK firm cuts against the idea that a particular gender mix in workforces is essential for attracting clients, although it adds to debate on whether the sector remains an overly male-dominated one.

The study aims to gain a better understanding of the role of women amid the “great wealth transfer” under way. 

Many advisors are considering increasing the gender diversity of their businesses. However, Schroder’s research demonstrates that this is not the answer as only 12 per cent indicated a preference for a female advisor. When selecting an advisor, trust (74 per cent), experience (68 per cent) and receiving value for money (48 per cent) were identified as the primary priorities.

“Lateral wealth transfer to widows, particularly in the Baby Boomer generation, is often ignored and this new research undertaken with Ad Lucem supports this point,” Gillian Hepburn, commercial director at Benchmark, said.

“The Schroders financial advisor survey indicates that only 5 per cent of advisors have a proposition to retain and attract female clients, particularly those widowed or divorced. Whilst there are specific advice requirements for women, the key to a successful proposition starts with engagement,” Hepburn said. 

Only 34 per cent of those interviewed said they would continue to use the same advisor after their partner passed away or post-divorce. The research indicated that the key areas advisors should focus on to retain women were understanding them better, adopting more proactive communication and listening more. 

This retention challenge may also be exacerbated by the fact that only 35 per cent of females said that their advisor completely recognised and appreciated their differing financial needs.

Some 40 per cent of the women surveyed had not discussed their long-term goals with their current advisor. This emphasises the importance of open communication among all parties involved in the financial planning process and creating an approach where all genders have confidence in their advisor and their ability to meet their individual requirements.

“With predictions that 60 per cent of the UK's assets will be in female hands by 2025, it is crucial to identify the current challenges and take action to create a more positive experience for women, while helping advisors retain their clients,” Phillip Wickenden, chief executive officer at Ad Lucem, said.

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