ING/Voya boosts female adviser head count past industry average

The firm has doubled its female financial adviser force over the past eight years with networking and mentoring programs

Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:05 am

By Liz Skinner

ING Financial Partners has more than doubled its female financial adviser workforce in the past eight years to 20% today, surpassing the newest calculations for the industry as a whole.

About 9% of the firm's advisers were women in 2006, according to the firm, which will be known as Voya Financial on Sept. 1. It has about 2,500 advisers. Industrywide about 11.5% of advisers are women, up from 7.9% in 2012, according to 2014 adviser survey results from Cerulli Associates.

(Related: Advisers still struggle to attract women)

During the past eight years, the firm has created a women's adviser network and mentoring program, it holds a national conference for female advisers once a year and it recently began hosting regional meetings for women advisers from any firm.

In the firm's first effort to help its advisers hire interns, the firm this summer helped to link four female advisers with female interns. The program was such a success it plans to expand it for next summer, said Angela Kahrmann, head of ING's Women's Advisory Network, at the annual Women's Forum held in Baltimore Tuesday and Wednesday.

(Find more on this topic in the latest Women and Investing special report)

Tom Halloran, president of Voya Financial Advisors, said the firm's culture, which includes women at high levels of the executive chain, encourages female advisers to join its ranks. And the firm isn't shy about its efforts to bring on women.

“We specifically tell recruiters that we are looking for female advisers,” Mr. Halloran said.

More on recruiting and engaging women in financial services from U.S. Executive Search's Cecile Munoz

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