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

UAE wealth firm unveils female-only adviser division

Company hopes the unit will make ‘more women seek financial advice’

|

Advice company Finsbury Associates has launched a division which aims to support and empower women with financial planning.

Unity Wealth will operate as a division under Finsbury Associates. The team of female-only advisers will be led by Carla de Silvo and overseen by Hannah Greenwood, who is also managing director of Finsbury Associates.

The division will offer a variety of advice services for women going through a divorce, as well as widowed  and women in executive roles.

It will be available for UAE residents for the time being, but Finsbury Associates said that it could expand the offering into other regions.

International Adviser spoke to Greenwood about Unity Wealth and what the firm hopes to achieve with the unit.

Demand

Greenwood said that the concept behind Unity Wealth was first created due to the company’s increase in enquiries from three different demographics of women.

“I don’t know if it was due to covid, but we had a lot more divorces happen and we actually had a couple of women who lost their husbands,” she said. “They were asking to be looked after by a female financial planner.

“We’ve also had a lot of feedback from executive women as they want to be serviced by financial planners who are women. It made us realise that there is a gap in the market where, not all the time, but some women do want to take advice from female financial planners.

“When it comes to divorce, and again not all of the time, women do need support through that journey in terms of what they need to think about, and having women advisers who understand what they go through, it just feels like it’s a good fit.

“To be honest, if you’re going through a divorce, or if you have just lost your husband, you probably don’t want to be serviced by a man.

“It is still a very male-dominated sector. There’s not as many women doing this role in the Middle East, but I don’t think anyone’s kind of gone out there to say we are focusing on women giving advice to women.”

Approaching female clients

In the majority of cases, women are unlikely to have dealt with finances prior to a divorce or a death and they are not usually part of the financial planning conversation.

Greenwood added: “Here in the UAE, I’ve been in meetings where I’ve had a bank manager come round, and they don’t include me in the conversation, even though I’m the one that really has all of the knowledge and understanding around the finances.

“I’ve been ignored in meetings before and that’s what we’re trying to change.

“Some women haven’t had to deal with finances before, and we need to walk them through that journey and educate them. I do believe that is better coming from a woman.

“Sometimes you have to have difficult conversations. We had a conversation with someone that was divorced last year, and I had to tell them they have to sell the property that they have been given, in order to maintain the lifestyle that their living.

“Probably, if that came from a man after you’ve just been divorced, it’s not what you want to hear. I just feel like the female relationship is better to walk them through that journey.”

Growth

The focus for Unity Wealth will be more around people that have not gone to an adviser before and Greenwood believes the division will “encourage more women to seek financial advice”.

She said: “It’s really just about getting ourselves out there to say we understand all of the things they are going through and we can talk them through that journey.

“It’s more about education and building a proposition if we’re known for being able to offer that service. We’ve gone through this journey many times with lots of our clients, so we are specialists in this area in a way.

“That’s what I would like it to be known as more than growing that sector.”

Latest Stories