Women are notably underrepresented in the financial advice industry: according to InvestmentNews’ groundbreaking 2018 study, Defining the ‘Female Effect’ on Advice, just 34 percent of U.S.-based financial advisors are female. Yet, according to Lauren Pearson of the Somerset Advisory Group, this mighty minority is poised to have a significant impact on the advisory business moving forward.
Pearson delivered an enlightening presentation at the 2019 HighTower Advisor Summit, outlining the different ways women advisors are managing their practices, and presenting solutions for predominantly male firms that are looking to attract more female talent and clients.
From employing authentic niche marketing tactics to putting an increased focus on office aesthetics, women advisors do things differently than their male counterparts, and these contrasts are helping them to push ahead of the pack.
The study notes that both the revenue and assets of female advisors are growing at a faster rate (60 percent) than the revenue and assets of male advisors (50 percent).
Women are bringing ideas to the fore that are applicable to any advisory business looking to grow. In her presentation, Pearson laid out several interesting ways women are changing the advisory game.
#1 – Women advisors are more likely to outsource back-office tasks
According to the InvestmentNews study, 81 percent of female advisors outsource activities such as portfolio management, investment manager research and communications support, which frees up their time to do more one-to-one client work and lead-building.
#2 – Mentorship programs help female advisors thrive, while promoting growth and best practices
Seventy-six percent of women in the InvestmentNews study worked at firms with a mentorship program, compared with 46 percent of men. Firms looking to attract women should consider implementing such a program, because mentoring promotes inclusion in the industry and also helps connect people, enabling them to share differing approaches to growth and practice management.
#3 – Women are employing more modern marketing tactics and technology (and it’s working for them)
From social media and email marketing, to PR and online ads, advisory practices run by women are more likely to make use of the marketing tools at their disposal. According to the InvestmentNews study, “Not only are women utilizing a higher number of marketing tactics, they are reporting these activities to be more successful.”
#4 – Female advisors are on average a decade younger than their male counterparts
One reason why women advisors are flocking to 21st century marketing and tech? They’re younger on average than their male colleagues. “The average female in our industry is 42, and the average male is 53,” said Pearson. Their age enables them to use tools such as social media in ways that feel authentic to potential clients.
#5 – A woman-run advisory practice often looks aesthetically different
Pearson pointed to her own advisory practice as an example: “Our office is set up in a way that attracts women into our space,” she said of Somerset Advisory Group’s bright, cheery office, which is designed to put clients at ease and enable comfortable conversation. In fact, Pearson said her practice’s space is the perfect place to host female-focused events.
“Every time we host an event, we always put women in small groups where they can meaningfully connect with one another,” she said. “It’s important, and it works! We’ve never had an event in our office where at least one woman didn’t become a client. In our minds, that’s a measure of success.”
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