Divorce prompts more women to seek financial advice

By Harry Holmes on Tuesday 12 September 2017

Savings and Investment

More women are seeking financial advice however there remains a lack of gender diversity among advisors.

Financial advisers are seeing growing demand for advice from women owing to increased levels of divorce, death and entrepreneurship according to new research.

The research conducted among 101 independent financial advisors (IFAs) by Investec Wealth & Investment, shows that women account for 47 per cent of new clients in the past two years, up from 40 per cent in 2012. Divorce and the death of a spouse are cited as the biggest factors, accounting for 51 per cent and 35 per cent respectively. A growth in female entrepreneurs accounts for 19 per cent.

Among joint clients, women are also taking more responsibility for managing the advisor relationship. Advisors estimated 27 per cent of joint partners now take equal responsibility, up from 23 per cent in 2012. This could rise to 35 per cent by 2022 according to advisers.

Despite the increasing number of female clients, there remains a lack of gender diversity among advisors. IFAs estimated that only 11 per cent of their advisers were currently female. 47 per cent of firms have no female advisers with only 5 per cent intending to encourage greater gender diversity.

Mark Stevens, Head of Intermediary Services at Investec Wealth & Investment believes this may be likely to change.

“Given the growing importance of women as clients, surprisingly few firms are currently taking steps to encourage greater gender diversity among their advisers but this may start to gather momentum over the coming years as the industry evolves,” he said.

“It’s also encouraging to see that increasing numbers of couples are taking joint responsibility for managing the relationship with their adviser. It has to be in the clients’ best interests for both partners to be equally involved in this key relationship,” he added. 

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