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‘I left investment banking for advice to sleep better at night’

‘I left investment banking for advice to sleep better at night’
Chartered financial planner at Progeny, Victoria Ross [Photo by Carmen Reichman]

Chartered financial planner Victoria Ross ditched a 12-year-long investment banking career back in 2018 and switched to advice, primarily to “sleep at night” and do something less “self-serving”.

Ross began her chartered career at Adidi, a women-focused IFA which Progeny bought back in December 2019.

Under the leadership of Anna Sofat, Ross built up a client bank of women - the majority of which (75 per cent) she continues to advise today under new management.

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Before she joined the world of advice, Ross’ clients were investment banks. She spent four years trading at UBS before becoming an interdealer broker in 2011.

“It [broking] wasn’t quite fitting what I needed. I wanted to sleep better at night. I didn’t want to do something so self-serving,” Ross told FTAdviser.

“You’re not told about financial planning at school…It was that combination of technical and people which won me over.”

With a maths degree under her belt, Ross is just as confident crunching numbers as she is talking to clients.

Talking about her interview at Adidi, Ross said: “It’s not often you come out of an interview feeling so inspired. I’ve always been a champion for women in finance.

"Women were shy in investment banking. It’s wonderful to be somewhere where women are front and centre.”

The percentage of women in adviser positions is still far outweighed by men. Just a sixth (16 per cent) of regulated financial advisers in the UK are women, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s records.

At Adidi, however, Ross was surrounded by women. 

Ross reckons women are ‘key’ to accessing generational wealth [Photo by Carmen Reichman]

“I had the privilege of working with more diverse clients," she said. "We had this nurturing approach, it was about not alienating people or judging them.

"Women’s relationship with money is changing rapidly."

She added: “It is the responsibility of the planner to involve women. It’s down to the adviser to coach her into the conversation, making sure questions are towards her. Sometimes this requires setting up a separate conversation if you’re dealing with a couple.

“I’m still hearing so often from women that they’ve gone to financial planner meetings with other halves, and even though they’re the main breadwinner, questions still get directed at the chap.”

Women are ‘key’ to accessing children

A survey by investment manager PortfolioMetrix this year found that adapting to the needs of younger clients was the biggest concern for 150 advisers it polled.

But Ross reckons advisers are all-too-often missing a trick by ignoring mothers, a clear gateway to building relationships with children.

“I’m so proud of my clients. I have the honour of working with some remarkable women. Being part of their financial planning puzzles is so rewarding,” said Ross.