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IFAs 'regressive' if advising male and female clients the same

IFAs 'regressive' if advising male and female clients the same

Advisers taking the same approach to male and female clients in effort to remain 'equal' in their advice are in fact being "regressive", the founder of women's wealth firm Addidi has said.

Speaking on FTAdviser's podcast, Anna Sofat said: "The market for male clients isn't uniform either. Advisers and firms do adjust to that difference.

"So for example, if you are looking after male entrepreneurs, you wouldn't be having the same products, processes, or ways of bringing clients in as, for example, retired plumbers. You just wouldn't do that.

"You would have thought through differences. That's what all client segmentation is about. Difference."

She added that advisers need to be "gender smart".

"Firms need to have gender training for advisers, so advisers themselves can be conscious of their own biases," said Sofat.

"Often, if advisers keyed in information, they would often put the man in as the first client. Now that isn't always the case. For us, many times it was the woman who was the lead client. It's little things like that which you need to be aware of."

Also on the podcast was chief marketing officer at Parmenion, Sarah Lyons. She said: "We have to stand back and look at the cultural conditioning and why women don't talk about money.

"Women are far more likely to talk frankly about their sex lives than they are about their finances. We have to ask why that is."

Lyons' challenge to advisers would be: "When you're talking about wealth, don't take the first answer as necessarily the real one.

"Take longer, probe, really try and find out what the woman wants and needs from her financial future. And I think we may start to get some different answers."

To listen to the full podcast, click on the list above.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com