During a forum back in 2010, then president of Citi Personal Banking and Wealth Management said that America would never have experienced the 2008 financial crisis if it was the Lehman Sisters and not the Lehman Brothers.
That being said, the financial services industry is still undoubtedly a man’s world. Based on a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 31% of financial advisors in the US are women, which means almost 8 out of 10 financial brokers and consultants are men. This is contraindicative to the recent findings of a research done by Pershing, a financial consultancy firm under the BNY Mellon group, which revealed a projected rise in demand for women financial advisors.
From the standpoint of financial advisor recruiters, this is a simple economic situation – high demand and low supply equals a lot of opportunities. If you’re a woman in the financial industry, this is a great time to look for better jobs and greener pastures. In doing so, it pays to know what your main advantages are over your male counterparts. This would allow you to strongly position yourself during job interviews.
So, what exactly are your key advantages as a female financial advisor?
Women Understands Women
Women-owned businesses account to trillions of dollars per year. According to the same report from Pershings, female investors are more likely to hire financial consultants than their male counterparts – 46% versus 36%. The study also shows that female clients are more likely to develop a long-term and loyal relationship with a consulting firm. Not coincidentally, most of these women entrepreneurs prefer to hire female advisors. Why do you think is that? For one, it is a consensus in the industry that women clients require more intensive consulting and they take more time than female clients. This is because female investors are more detail-oriented.
Also, the number of wealthy women who are not necessarily investors or entrepreneurs is rising. These are those who just got divorced, was recently widowed, etc. They have real money and they need help in managing their finances. According to financial services recruiters, this new breed of rich women are more comfortable working with female consultants because they are more patient, are typically good listeners and wouldn’t mind hearing about the personal stories of their clients.
Women Generate Clients in More Varied Ways than Men
According to the 2012 Fidelity Broker and Advisor Sentiment survey, 71% of female wealth managers attend industry gatherings and in-person seminars. This is significantly higher compared to the 36% of men who attend such networking events. The report says nothing conclusive about this information but it’s easy to draw an educated hypothesis – women develop more connections and therefore, more opportunities to acquire new clients. Also, women are more open to clients who are looking beyond the traditional investment platforms.
Experts also observe that female financial advisors are craftier in promoting their expertise. Carol Pepper, the woman behind the New York-based investment firm Pepper International wrote a book to promote her services. Chapin Hill Advisors president Kathy Boyle often gives speeches to create thought leadership for the firm. She also use blogging as a tool to reach potential clients.
Women have made and are continuously making their mark in the financial services arena and though they are still outnumbered, it wouldn’t be surprising if they equal or surpass the number of financial advisors in the future.