Attracting top-tier women to wealth management

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Raymond James just wrapped up its 21st annual Women’s Symposium, with advisors very encouraged about the opportunities that exist heading into 2016.
“I just returned from our 21st annual Women’s Symposium in St. Petersburg, Florida.  I swear it gets better every year!” said Victoria-based Raymond James advisor Sybil Verch. “Being in the same room as a few hundred female advisors is empowering and inspiring.”
And why wouldn’t it be?
It works harder than most at boosting its number of female advisors which industry-wide are said to account for only 15% of the total number of advisors working with clients.
A long time ago it recognized that if it wanted to change the status quo from a boys club to an all-inclusive club it needed to make it more attractive for women to make the change.
"A lot of women have the appropriate skill sets for this business, they just don't think of this business as that next opportunity. We have to let them know that it is,” Michelle Lynch, director of Raymond James' Network for Women Advisors recently told Financial Planning magazine. "It's truly organic here. My position and my teams exist to support women. That's the only reason we are here.”
Verch reminded WP that her company has a corporate goal of women accounting for 25% of all advisors — right now they’re at 15% — by the year 2025.
How do they get there? By doing four things very well, she says.
  • Being recognized on the street as a firm welcoming, we will not only retain our female advisors and help them grow their businesses, but attract top female advisors from other firms.
  • Focus on participating in career fairs at colleges and universities across the country to ensure young women know about this fabulous career opportunity.  Often women who are good at math think “accounting” or “math teacher”, I want them to think “financial advisor”.
  • Target women looking for a career change or re-entering the workforce after spending time raising a family. There are a number of smart, talented, hard-working women out there that given the opportunity, would succeed in wealth management.
  • Identify existing support staff within our firm to take the leap from support role to lead advisor role.  We have recently launched two programs; New Advisor Development Program and a Mentorship program.  Both programs provide training and support to select individuals that demonstrate the qualities of a successful financial advisor.