Wealth managers with the most female financial advisors
When financial adviser Nina O’Neal was a 23-year-old employee of an investment firm in New York, she had what many women consider a rare experience in the industry: O’Neal reported the behavior inappropriate behavior from a male senior executive, and he was fired.
Then she learned from a close friend at the company that several other women had already reported the chief compliance officer’s uncomfortable questions and comments when he stopped by their desk and called them to his office for meetings. useless, she recalls.
“I was relieved that he was no longer a colleague, but I was shocked and disappointed that a company would keep someone in such a position with numerous reports of misconduct,” O’Neal said, a partner from Raleigh, North Carolina. AIM Advisors, which is affiliated with Triad Advisors, an independent brokerage firm owned by the Advisor Group, said in an email.
“It was my first eye-opening experience of what life as a woman in finance would probably be like, and I promised myself that I would always speak for myself and other women for the rest of my career,” O’Neal said. . . “I kept that promise and unfortunately had to act more times than I can count.”
The typical absence of consequences for allegations of sexual harassment or even abuse in the industry often causes women give up a career in wealth management, according to O’Neal. Even with some signs of progress and one some major CEO hires, the share of financial planners who are women remains below 25%. And, as the data rankings below compiled by Financial planningElite’s annual IBD Elite study clearly indicates that very few independent brokerages reach this level.
Some companies stand out from their peers, however, and two of the companies with the most female advisors are owned by women: Bley Investment Group, based in Fort Worth, Texas, and Trutoro, based in Conway, Arkansas. Bley CEO Page Pierce serves on the board of governors of FINRA, where she and two other female executives led the way earlier this year in extension the industry’s “grace period” at five years versus two. This change will give FINRA-registered brokers more time to maintain their credentials through continuing education outside of the industry. Hopefully the flexibility will allow more women to stay with the company.
Other independent wealth managers and advisers also act. Many of the larger companies have already established annual events, employee resource groups, and other forms of support for women, minority advisers, and veterans among their workforces. Now, some medium-sized companies are stepping up their efforts. Tax-focused wealth manager Avantax is launching its Women’s Advisors Forum this week, led by the firm’s vice president of business development, Laurie Stack.
O’Neal created the network of advisers three years ago to build “a community of women to try to start addressing some of the gender inequalities in the industry and to share common ground,” she said. The group now has over 120 women from across the industry with a range of experience and assets under management.
“It’s a very diverse group of women who share a common story of hard work, passion and courage in having to endure many prejudices and unfortunate situations that our male counterparts don’t have,” O’Neal said.
The industry faces a difficult climb to approach the same representation of women as the American population. Many companies would have to take the basic step of disclosing their demographics first, which 25 of the 47 participants in this year’s IBD Elite declined to do. This group includes some of the largest companies in the industry such as LPL Financial, Cetera Financial Group and Ameriprise. Without know the part of the advisers among the giants, it will not be possible to know whether the industry is committed to fostering diversity lead to real change.
For companies that have leaked their data, the numbers offer a stark reminder of how far they still have to go. Scroll through the slideshow to see which companies disclosed the highest share of women in their advisory ranks.
To see which companies are the biggest in terms of annual revenue, Click here. To read IBD Elite’s cover story, “Brokerages are transforming, not disappearing”, Click here. And to see last year’s list of independent brokerages with the highest percentage of female advisors, follow this link.
Notes: Companies are ranked below based on the percentage of financial advisors who are women at the end of 2021, as reported by the companies themselves. FP relies on each company to state its parameters accurately. The industry term “producer registered representative” refers to the most accurate count of financial advisors of each company using the company as a brokerage or RIA. “Registered Representative” refers to a generally larger group of all licensed professionals.