Financial Services Institute: OneVoice 2014

Giving female advisers the confidence to excel

Jan 30, 2014 @ 12:00 am

Runtime: 2:47

Amy Webber of Cambridge Investment Research discusses how increasing gender diversity at the highest levels of the advice industry is a major challenge, and details some ways firms can overcome this hurdle.

The Financial Services Institute's annual broker-dealer conference, taking place January 27-29 in Washington, D.C.

Video Transcript

I believe the key to the success of our industry is to foster not less men, but more women. It's really about diversity. In the end, our industry is gonna be successful by embracing diversity and, what, the industry average of female advisers is about 15 percent. At Cambridge, it's about 18 percent. The challenge is not necessarily the number of women advisers, but the fact that those advisers-- 1 percent of our female advisers are producing over 250,000 in revenues, DDC. And so, we need to step up and it isn't that they don't know enough. It's giving them the confidence to step into those types of roles. I truly believe that females actually have a tremendous amount of skills that are needed to be a fantastic trusted adviser, to be the wealth manager, the life planner, goals planner, and therapist for their clients. We just have to make sure that they understand that that's what's key to being a successful adviser and potentially not the hard sales and marketing type of skill sets only. That is what I believe sometimes forces women, you know, shy-- They shy away from our industry because they don't believe that they can be successful. Coaching and counseling female advisers, to have that confidence and to know how to work on their business and build their business on a consulting basis, it can be case by case, but what's most important is probably our mentoring program. It's called synergy exchange and we don't just leverage female-to-female. Some of those females have male mentors, other successful male advisors. And we're doing some reverse mentoring in that male advisers have come to the table and asked us to connect them with a female so that they can start to figure out how they have to-- It's not what they deliver. It's how they deliver it. And they have to change the way they work with female investors. So, it kind of brings it full circle to the fact that male advisers are asking for mentoring so that when that wealth generational, that transfer of wealth to the wives, to the spouses happen, that they are actually able to retain that relationship. And it is about the experience in their relationship and simply inviting the spouse to a meeting once a year or once a quarter is not in that female's mind a relationship. They need to feel like they are a part of the consultative process and that the adviser is including them in the conversation.

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