Retaining women wealth managers – what do we do?

Following this publication’s recent review of how wealth managers are improving the recruitment of female advisors, we now take a fresh look at what they are doing to retain this female talent.

While geopolitical events such as the war between Ukraine and Russia and concerns about high inflation currently dominate the world, long-term questions about how to diversify the wealth management industry persist. This post has spoken to several companies about how they are trying to achieve this when it comes to recruiting and retaining female wealth advisors. Continuing our review of recruitment initiatives, here we highlight companies’ retention policies.


flexible working
British private bank Kleinwort Hambros’ initiatives include flexible contract opportunities and part-time variations. The company rolled out a connected working policy to enable flexible working from home for all staff before the pandemic.

London-based Brooks Macdonald has also embraced connected working to enable employees to seek a work-life balance that works for them. It expects staff to be in the office only for half of their work week and does not stipulate start and end times. The company takes a “very flexible” approach to supporting staff and their needs – whether it’s childcare or caring for a dependent adult – and encourages part-time work and sharing employment. “For example, three of the senior managers on my team work part-time, so that’s something that can be done and should be encouraged,” Tom Emery, director of human resources at Brooks Macdonald, told this publication.


work-life balance
The company’s personnel are managed according to what they deliver and not according to their work schedule. “We have created a big change in our culture over the past few years. We’ve moved from “we’re in the office from 9am to 5pm” to getting work done at a time and place that suits the individual, whether in the office or remotely. We don’t care what time people start and end,” Emery said.

As part of Lombard Odier’s efforts to improve work-life balance for women, the Geneva-based private bank is allowing its staff to work from home one or two days a week and applying flexible hours.

In Geneva, it pays for the use of the “Red Riding Hood” service, which provides emergency care for sick children under 12 years old. And it was the first bank in Switzerland to receive EDGE certification, the global assessment methodology and business certification standard, at MOVE level (the second highest of three levels), the firm told this publication.

Lombard Odier also has a women’s leadership program, launched in 2017, in which forty-six women have taken part so far. And its HR Department ensures that the number of employees promoted each year is as representative as possible of gender diversity. It also carries out an annual analysis of equal pay.

London-listed wealth management firm Kingswood offers a work-life integration framework, working with “each employee” to determine a flexible working arrangement that benefits both the employee and the business .


Mentoring, training and networking
Kleinwort Hambros, which has a forum on gender equality, is a founding member of the WealthiHer network and, within Societe Generale, is a signatory of the Women in Business charter. He said Heritage Briefing that it has “already achieved its goal of increasing the representation of women in leadership positions”.

Training initiatives have included coding classes for women and lunch and learn sessions on topics impacting women, such as menopause. With Societe Generale, it launched a training program for female talent last year and offers its employees a range of reverse mentoring programs. A few years ago, he piloted a career comeback program.

“We strongly believe that promoting diversity and inclusion is essential,” Delyth Richards, head of client solutions group at Kleinwort Hambros, told the news service.

For his part, Julius Baer told this publication that he is “relentlessly” focused on creating and promoting an inclusive career environment, and on a “collective responsibility” to improve the inclusion of current clients and future, regardless of gender or origin.

Initiatives include its senior women mentorship program, a dedicated task force to support diversity and inclusion in the workplace, while in Asia it offers a [email protected] Baer employee network.

“We have a history of supporting women in the workplace and are committed to creating a supportive career environment for our employees,” said Benjamin Hauenstein, Asia Pacific Human Resources Manager, Julius Baer.

Brooks Macdonald also offers an all-staff mentorship program with approximately 30 trained mentors from across the company.

Dolores W. Simon