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Five female advisers on how they advise women

This article is part of
Guide to retaining intergenerational wealth

“This provides us a great head start to understanding our clients’ situations, their decision-making processes and how we can best help them grow and protect their wealth in new ways.”

While not all female clients will seek female financial advisers, Roughsedge says that for some women it is an extremely important proposition to help make them feel more at ease from the start, particularly if they do not feel as financially literate as men.

A collaborative approach

Gillian Hepburn, head of UK intermediary solutions at Schroders, says that while women are allegedly more risk averse, the investment manager’s own research has indicated that women are simply more risk aware.

“It’s simply about understanding [women] and not adopting stereotypes. The key is to enable them to ask questions and not feel intimidated. Women [have] told us that they would really value more financial education.”

Sam Secomb, chief executive of Women’s Wealth, specialises in advice for women in their 30s and 40s, and has noticed that they favour a collaborative approach.

“These women want to level up their knowledge and be involved in designing solutions, rather than having it done for them. Traditional financial advice can be perceived as dictatorial. No small part of this is because as professional advisers we are responsible for the suitability of what an investor ends up with.

“We find women open to learning about personal finance and very capable of organising themselves and making decisions based on information and guidance. Many come to Women’s Wealth after researching and trying to buy an investment, but they have not been confident enough to do it. The guidance part is essential. We call it having a ‘BFF’ – best financial friend.”

Women with substantial amounts to invest also want to be treated with respect, and many want to be more involved in discussions when investing as couples, says Pickering at Verity Wealth Management. “I have spoken to many couples where the lady had felt excluded in conversations with other advisers, rather than being actively included.

“Just because a lady says she doesn’t understand, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want our help explaining things to help her understand. Many more questions come from females in second and subsequent meetings, having gone away and thought about the conversations in first meetings.”

Roughsedge likewise says that while female clients may initially come across as cautious investors, and even describe themselves as so, this is often due to a hesitancy to commit until they fully understand the recommendation, or the explanation of the investment risk.

“Women are often prepared to take on investment risk, recognising they need to, but they simply want to make sure they have all the facts and information available first before embarking on a proposal. This process can take a little longer than comparative scenarios with male clients.”