W hen the Women's IFA Group, the new industry body, launches in September
it will be a culmination of Fiona Price's life work. You could almost see
it as an inevitable result of the decisions she has made up to this point.
From establishing her own IFA firm 14 years ago and building it into the
country's biggest all-women IFA firm to the number of networks determined
to tackle financial exclusion of women that she has belonged to over the
years, it seems a natural progression to form a networking group aimed
specifically at women IFAs.
“It is about recognising there are so few women in the IFA business. Part
of that is to do with the fact that women see finance as a man's world.
Women tend to be less confident than men,” she says.
Wig will be launched on September 5 with the aim of providing support to
women IFAs. Newly promoted Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt
will be at the launch party.
Through sponsored events – fund manager Framlington has already agreed to
put up the money for the initial launch – seminars and entertainment
evenings, Price hopes to make the women who already operate in the IFA
sector feel more comfortable and more confident but she has bigger plans.
“In the long term, the goals are to create a political voice for women
IFAs and to encourage more women from other fields and universities to
enter the industry. But in the immediate term, we want to provide more
support for the women already in the industry.”
The organisation will be run from Price's IFA office almost as an
extension of the business, although it will be a not-for-profit venture.
Price says the real motivation for Wig was when she realised there were
only 1,500 women IFAs out of a population of roughly 26,000 in the UK.
“Being an IFA is a great career for women and it is a great thing for the
financial services sector to have more women involved in it.”
Along with partners Donna Bradshaw and Emma Sofat, both of whom work with
her at Fiona Price & Partners, she hopes to attract 250-300 members in the
first year of Wig.
Throughout Price's career she has belonged to a number of networks
involving women and the financial services world. There was the City
Women's Network, Women in Management and then 10 years ago she helped form
the Financial Exchange for all women in financial services, which ran for
four to five years.
The self-styled professional mentor is effusive in her praise for
networks. “I am really into networks, they have been very valuable to my
P rice has now stepped down from the day-to-day management of the IFA firm
she founded 14 years ago. Having built it up from a one-woman band into a
company which now has 35 registered individuals, she is content to let her
business partners run the show.
Price, 41, spends two days a week at the London-based company and the rest
of the time she is busy at her country home in Gloucestershire.
She is a keen equestrian and attends events and also hunts with her three
horses, although she is quick to point out that foxes are not the quarry
but men in drag-hunting. Once an avid rower, representing Wales at the 1986
Commonwealth Games where she finished fourth, she now follows the sport as
Price is also writing a book although all she will divulge about its
content is that it is nothing to do with financial services. She does a lot
of speaking engagements and mentors women about life decisions, both
financial and personal ones.
With all these activities in her life, one would think it might be
difficult to find the time to start up a new trade body and make a serious
go at it. Price, however, does not seem to be a person who suffers from
self-doubt. “I have always had a lot of things going on in my life,” she