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Fiona Price

W hen the Women&#39s IFA Group, the new industry body, launches in September

it will be a culmination of Fiona Price&#39s 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&#39s 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&#39s 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&#39s 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&#39s career she has belonged to a number of networks

involving women and the financial services world. There was the City

Women&#39s 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

career.”

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

a fan.

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

says.

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