(NewsUSA) - Female financial planners, (specifically, CFP® professionals) are in need, and provide a pivotal role to wealth management firms in serving diverse client bases and delivering holistic financial planning services to clients.
Those are the two main findings from an independent study from Aite Group, titled "Building a Diverse Practice: The Value of CFP® Certification to Female Advisors."
In an industry that is majority male (80%), wealth management firms should take note of the unique value that female financial planners offer to clients, when making client-facing hiring decisions.
Meanwhile, women who are exploring a possible career in financial planning, or who already work in the profession but have not yet earned their certification, should consider how CFP® certification can help unlock professional growth and fulfillment.
Holistic Financial Planning
Research has found that female financial planners offer a distinctively valuable approach to clients' financial planning process. According to the survey, female CFP® professionals:
- Provide comprehensive, formal and written financial plans to more of their clients compared to male CFP® professionals and other female financial advisors.
- Feel they've built client trust (74%) vs. just 53% of their male counterparts.
- Are more likely to provide retirement planning, estate planning, and tax and budgeting advice to their clients.
"Women are natural nurturers and working on someone's financial plan can help people with some of the most important and vulnerable parts of their life, which makes that strength in women so key," says Erin Voisin, CFP®, the managing director for wealth management services at EP Wealth Advisors in California. "We need more women in this profession to help put together those comprehensive plans to equip more people with financial security and encourage a more financially literate society."
More Female Financial Planners = Better for Business
A focus on holistic financial planning does not detract from female CFP® professionals' responsibilities to their firms. According to Aite Group, female CFP® professionals are as likely as male CFP® professionals to derive a majority of their practice revenue from assets under management and financial planning service fees.
Leaders in the financial planning profession say these unique strengths and distinctive characteristics underscore the need and opportunity for firms to bolster their client services by recruiting more female advisors.
"We already knew that there has been a business case to have more women in the financial services industry, and now we know that having female CFP® professionals adds even more value to their firm and the clients they serve," says Angela Ribuffo, CFP®, president of Raion Financial Strategies LLC in Alaska. "Female financial planners are invested in holistic planning, and to effectively achieve this, they excel in building strong relationships with their clients."
Initiatives To Get Behind
The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning is one organization seeking to foster greater diversity within the financial planning profession, including by growing the number of female CFP® professionals.
"We are seeing an increasing trend that prospective clients --both men and women -- specifically request to work with a female advisor. The work the Center for Financial Planning is doing to promote and cultivate diversity within the profession is imperative to serving a broader array of clients that so deeply need holistic financial planning," says Sabrina Lowell, CFP®, Advisor and Managing Partner at Private Ocean in San Francisco.
The Center's Women's Initiative (WIN) -- which is guided by the WIN Council on which Voisin, Ribuffo and Lowell sit -- is specifically focused on addressing the issue of women's under-representation in the financial planner workforce. WIN programs strive to attract more women into the profession and make the profession itself more attractive to women.