ANNOUNCEMENT: UK Adviser is now PA Adviser. Read more.

Should IFA firms change their approach to target female clients?

Women are an ‘underserved and untapped segment’ in the wealth management industry


A recent research report from consultancy firm Forrester found that wealth management firms predominantly focus on men in their product design and marketing and are potentially neglecting the female market.

The report also found that the neglecting advice and wealth market has led to some differences in personal finance confidence, as 39% of women in the UK report that they know how to save for retirement, compared to 57% of men.

In a separate research paper from Hargreaves Lansdown, it further highlighted the problem that female clients are falling behind in the wealth industry, with just 19% of women aged 35-64-year-old age group investing in the markets.

Emma Wall, head of investment analysis and research at Hargreaves Lansdown warned that this risks “creating a permanent gap in women’s financial health and wealth”.

Lack of trust

One of the reasons for women not investing is the lack of trust they have in the fact they are receiving good advice.

Forrester data showed only 31% of women are confident they are receiving good financial advice, while the majority rely on their own research and trusted sources such as family and friends.

In order to attract more women customers, wealth and advice firms need to have a better understanding of what women want and need when it comes to investing their money.

Debbie Dry, head of business development at JustFa, said: “According to sources, women are an underserved and untapped segment in the wealth management industry, they have different investment goals, risk appetites, communication styles and financial literacy levels than men.

“Women also face different challenges and opportunities in their financial journeys such as the gender pay gap, career breaks and inheritance.”

Yasmina Siadatan, sales and marketing director at Dynamic Planner highlighted that while financial planning firms are beginning to evolve and reflect the needs and wants of women the pace can be too slow.

To build trust with female clients, wealth and advice firms need to take time to fully understand the circumstances and needs of women and how they may differ to men.

Siadatan said: “As with any client, the task is to meet women investors where they are, really understand their circumstances and needs and when recommending products, communicate effectively about how those products can help.”


While it is important for firms to keep in mind the challenges and opportunities that women are faced with when it comes to offering them financial advice, Siadatan believes that instead of trying to divide the advice given to men and women, a more diverse and inclusive environment needs to be created that both men and women can benefit from.

She added: “Rather than creating silos that risk reinforcing gender divides, a more fruitful path is to focus on building diverse and inclusive teams and a workplace culture that fosters idea sharing. By harnessing a broader range of perspectives, firms can ensure they’re well placed to serve the broadest range of clients.”

Similarly, Dry believes that financial products are and should be gender neutral.

JustFa’s Dry said: “Although it might be useful to have specific marketing aimed at female investors to include them in something that has historically and predominantly been a male domain,  financial products should target specific goals and outcomes regardless of a gender.”


Forrester also reported that branch locations and face-to-face interactions hold less value for women who prefer using digital channels when investing their money.

This is because it offers convenience, unbiased information and the ability to engage on their own terms.

Therefore, wealth and advice firms should use online platforms to interact with women clients and provide them with the information they need to make the right investment decisions for them.

Siadatan said: “Firms can make use of technology to enable effective client segmentation, supporting marketing and communications that demonstrate understanding and speak more directly to client needs.”

Latest Stories