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More women seek financial advice but firm diversity lags

Despite the number of female clients increasing, almost half (47 per cent) of firms have no female advisers

Gender-Differences-Man-Woman-Inequality.jpgMore women are seeking financial advice due to increasing divorce rates and a rise in female entrepreneurs, according to research from Investec Wealth and Investment.

The research, which included 101 advisers, found that women accounted for two-fifths (40 per cent) of IFA clients in 2012 but 47 per cent of new clients gained over the past two years.

The research finds that the main drivers behind women seeking financial advice are divorce (51 per cent) and the death of a spouse (35 per cent).

Just over a quarter (26 per cent) of advisers surveyed attribute the increase to women taking more control of their financial circumstances and 19 per cent cited more women succeeding in business.

However, despite the number of female clients increasing, advisers estimated that only 11 per cent of their advisers are female and almost half (47 per cent) of firms have no female advisers.

Only 5 per cent of firms say they are looking to encourage greater gender diversity among their advisers to attract more female staff.

The research also shows a trend towards more joint clients taking equal responsibility for managing their relationship with their adviser.

In 2012 advisers estimated that under a quarter (23 per cent) of joint clients involved both partners taking equal responsibility compared to 27 per cent today. By 2022 advisers predict this could rise to 35 per cent.

Investec Wealth and Investment intermediary services head Mark Stevens says: “Given the growing importance of women as clients, surprisingly few firms are currently taking steps to encourage greater gender diversity among their advisers but this may start to gather momentum over the coming years as the industry evolves.”

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  1. No word as to whether a client cares if their adviser shares their gender or any other characteristic?

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