Half of all advisers report losing a female client once the client's partner passes away

Half of advisers (50 per cent) have lost a female client’s business once that client’s partner has passed away, according to Fidelity’s Unlocking the Power of Advice report.

According to the IFAs surveyed, there were a number of reasons why this happened. The most common was that the client did not want to continue receiving financial advice (49 per cent), while other clients wanted the opportunity to choose their own financial adviser (45 per cent). More specifically, 40 per cent of IFAs said that their female client preferred an adviser of a different sex. In addition, cost was an issue for some according to 38 per cent of IFAs.

Fidelity International’s report Unlocking the Power of Advice pointed out that in older generations it was more common for the man in a heterosexual partnership to look after the finances. This would mean that the woman would not necessarily have formed a relationship with the adviser before their partner’s death. The report suggested that as women become more empowered financially and start to benefit from financial advice from a younger age this attrition rate would drop naturally.
However, more needs to be done to attract young women to financial advice. One finding from Fidelity’s report was that young men were twice as likely to seek support from a financial adviser for their overall well-being (21 per cent) compared to young women (12 per cent).
Jackie Boylan, Head of FundsNetwork for Fidelity International, says: “The days where the man looked after the household’s finances have largely past, but there’s still a discrepancy when it comes to financial advice. Financial advisers need to be engaging with both partners in a couple when discussing the household wealth to ensure both feel informed and valued. 

“Financial advice could play a significant role in helping more women get invested but currently too many feel like advice is ‘not for them’. Fidelity’s latest Women and Money Innovation Lab, which brought together experts from the industry, media and policy, discussed how to encourage more women to receive financial advice. Rebranding financial advice was a key takeaway, with attendees pointing out that a woman’s goals for advice may be different to a man’s. Easier said than done but looking at how we talk about advice is an important factor here.”