Half of IFAs lose female clients following death of partner

Half of financial advisers (50%) have lost a female client’s business once that client’s partner has passed away, according to a new report published by Fidelity International.

The report, titled Unlocking the Power of Advice, found that the most common reason for this was that the client did not want to continue receiving financial advice (49%), while other clients wanted the opportunity to choose their own financial adviser (45%).

More specifically, 40% of the 2,000 surveyed IFAs revealed that their female client preferred an adviser of a different sex. The findings also revealed that cost was an issue for 38% of IFAs.
The report pointed out that in older generations it was more common for the man in a heterosexual partnership to look after the finances, and Fidelity suggested this would mean that the woman would not necessarily have formed a relationship with the adviser before their partner’s death.

The report also suggested that as women start to benefit from financial advice from a younger age, this attrition rate would drop naturally. However, Fidelity suggested that more needs to be done to attract young women to financial advice. One finding from the report was that young men were twice as likely to seek support from a financial adviser for their overall wellbeing (21%) compared to young women (12%).

“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,” commented head of FundsNetwork for Fidelity, Jackie Boylan.

“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.”

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