Firing line  

'We need to democratise independent financial advice for investors and planners'

'We need to democratise independent financial advice for investors and planners'
Sam Secomb (Photo: Ecegraphy Photography & Design Ltd by Damla Ece Yalgin)

When Sam Secomb started Women's Wealth she already had her hands full running her two other financial advice businesses.

But she considers the now three-year-old virtual-only financial advice firm – which she started in 2019 – as an important vehicle in helping her fulfil her next mission in life.

“What women's services need is women advisers and what the UK needs is more female-focused brands delivering financial advice," Secomb says.

Article continues after advert

“This is my mission in the last decade of my career instead of waiting for someone else to do it.

“We need to democratise independent financial advice for investors and planners. At the moment, independent financial advice is exclusive. If you asked, 'Who gets independent financial advice?' it would not be millennial women.”

For Secomb, there are a number of factors that intentionally or otherwise have created barriers for women who want to work in the industry or want to do more with their money.

On the client side, she says women might be put off seeking advice because they would prefer to speak to a female adviser.

Secomb says: “By 2025 – just three years away – 60 per cent of wealth will be controlled by women, and I really don’t think traditional financial services firms have worked that out yet.

“When I look at [IFA] websites, the language they are using and the adviser faces they offer to the market, I think: that was fine for baby boomers where [the man] ran the money and she [as the wife or partner] sometimes did not even bother turning up for the appointment.

“But that does not play to a millennial audience. So I think we will see a massive shift, because they will not be able to say [what they used to say] to the new owners of the assets.”

Different approach needed

While products that clients – male or female – end up with are similar or the same, as they are designed to meet financial planning objectives, Secomb says advisers need to understand that their approach or the language they use needs to differ. 

Secomb, who has been in the advice business for 30 years, says that in the main, women are more protectionist in character than men.

“You cannot go into a financial planning relationship with a woman [and talk to her] firstly about tax, wealth, a bigger house, holidays, status and ambition. 

“You have to go into the relationship thinking about what she is scared of, what’s preventing her from making decisions; what is she anxious and uncomfortable about. Deal with that and you will get her planning for the future. It’s that protectionist attitude. 

“It sounds like a terrible generalisation, but women are more protectionist than men and you need to serve that need.