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Industry must evolve to meet the requirements of female clients

17 October 2017

The financial industry must do more to meet women’s advice needs, with a new report revealing they are put off by the “aggressively masculine” world of financial services.

The report, published by research firm Kantar, highlighted the differences between male and female perceptions of advice and found the industry must evolve to meet the requirements of female clients.

Jane Goodland, responsible business director at Old Mutual Wealth (pictured), said the perception that financial decisions were solely the remit of a male family member is outdated. Their own research showed that 40% of women aged 30-45 are the primary decision makers when it comes to the household finances.

She said: “The Kantar study highlights that women have a different focus when it comes to dealing with their finances. They are more concerned about relationships and family members, whereas men are focused on products and price. This means that women are looking for a fundamentally different conversation about their finances.

“However, the financial advice profession is rapidly modernising, spurred forward by the Retail Distribution Review, and new initiatives are looking to change the face and reputation of financial services.”

Old Mutual Wealth recently launched the Financial Adviser School, designed to not only bridge the advice gap, but attract people from diverse backgrounds so clients feels they are receiving relatable advice. Over 30% of the students are women and all students are taught how they need to market and speak differently to different demographics, including women.

Ellie Armson, recent graduate of the Old Mutual Wealth Financial Adviser School and financial adviser, commented: “The best way to battle women feeling excluded from the financial advice world is to encourage more women to enter the arena. I find the financial service profession – particularly the advice world – is one of those professions really suited to women, because it plays to their strengths.”

She added: “The nature of supporting clients with a diverse range of goals means I might one day be helping a couple realise their ambition to enjoy a wholesome retirement. The next day, I could be offering a family the reassurance of financial stability with a sensible protection plan.”

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