5 Ways RIAs Can Attract and Retain Millennial, Female Advisors

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By 2025, it is estimated that women will control or manage approximately two-thirds of the country’s wealth. According to an advisor survey conducted by Charles Schwab & Co., private wealth alone, by 2020, is estimated to reach $22 trillion, and women are projected to control 66 percent of it. Moreover, over the next 40 years, women are due to inherit about 70 percent of the estimated $41 trillion in intergenerational wealth transfers.

Despite these statistics, women – let alone millennial women – barely have a presence in the financial advice industry, even though they will eventually be the ones making the decisions affecting the majority of the country’s wealth.

To worsen the situation, there is a major retirement problem in the financial advice industry. As discussed in a prior post, approximately one-third of advisors plan to retire within the next decade. With so many advisors set to exit, and ample opportunity on the horizon, now is the time for female advisors to make headway into the world of financial services.

With this in mind, we compiled five surefire ways RIAs can attract and retain millennial, female advisors:

1. Mentoring and training. With the lack of females in the industry, young millennial women entering – or even thinking about entering – the business need support and guidance to help them succeed. Consider establishing mentoring and training programs for your female employees to foster professional development and future success. A great example of this is CBIZ Women’s Advantage, an internal program that directs the development of its women professionals through focused leadership, mentoring, networking and professional development initiatives. The platform provides its female employees with access to seasoned professionals who offer advice on finding success in the workforce.

2. Get your brand out there. To captivate young female advisors, establish a brand presence where it matters. In so doing, you need to learn to speak the language of the young millennial woman. This includes engaging on social media, female-focused blogs and websites. Make your brand presence apparent and relevant to prospective female millennial advisors. Why is your firm unique? What advantages does your firm offer?

3. Go where they go. Go one step further than engaging online, engage in person and reinforce your brand identity at relevant female-focused events. For example, the Women in Investing Network of Philadelphia holds events geared toward women in investing. Dress for Success is a service initiative aimed at providing women with professional attire and a support network to help advance their careers. Participating in these initiatives will reaffirm your commitment to the success of females in the workplace and give you the opportunity to educate prospective female advisors about your company.

4. Incentives. On average, full-time working women earn 77 cents on the dollar as compared to men. If you want to attract young, female advisors, you need to assure them that they’re going to be compensated fairly and competitively. Let it be known that compensation comes in many forms. In addition to salary and benefits, consider differentiating your firm by offering reimbursements for relevant certifications. For instance, is it a requirement at your firm for prospective advisors to sit for the CFP exam? If so, offer to reimburse your new hires for all exam fees and training materials if they pass. The exam fee alone costs $595, and when coupled with study materials, the total costs can run upwards of $1,000, so the savings would be significant.

5. Hire more women. Simple, but true! The finance industry has long been stigmatized for its homogenous landscape. Today, women represent just 30 percent of advisors and 23 percent of CFPs. Women want to work at a place where they’ll feel welcome and supported, and statistics like these might make them shy away from the financial advice industry. If there are deserving women at your firm, be sure to give them a significant presence and face in the organization – whether it’s a leadership role or the head of a firm-wide initiative (e.g. a service program, expansion, etc.).

Implementing these tips will go a long way in helping your firm onboard the next generation of female advisors. Has your firm implemented any other strategies or tips you can share?

Editor’s Note: This post is a collaboration between Leah and another member of the Gregory FCA team, Margaret Payne.