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Announcing the FT 100 Top Women Advisors

By Joan Warner November 20, 2014

The Financial Times, FA-IQ’s parent, is out with a new listing of elite advisors.

Published yesterday, the FT 100 recognizes the top women financial advisors in the U.S., working in all channels. To be eligible, advisors had to manage assets of at least $200 million and have at least 10 years’ experience. On average, FT 100 advisors manage more than $1.6 billion.

Like the annual FT 400, which recognizes the top broker-dealer-affiliated advisors in the U.S., and the FT 300 listing of top RIAs, the FT 100 scored participants on asset growth rate, years of experience, compliance record, professional credentials, and online accessibility and transparency.

In a special section of the Nov. 19 Financial Times, a series of articles explores why women remain such a stubbornly small minority in the advice industry — even though, as FA-IQ has reported, women control a growing share of U.S. personal wealth — and how much the field stands to gain from hiring more female FAs.

No one knows exactly how underrepresented they are. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says around a quarter of advisors are women, but those data include channels like insurance. A 2012 Fidelity study put the rate at 13%. It is telling that even as wirehouses and big broker-dealers tout their internal programs for advancing women FAs, they categorically refuse to disclose how much of their advisor force is female.

Yet in a commentary for the FT’s special section, Morgan Stanley’s Shelley O’Connor, head of field management for the firm’s 16,000 brokers, writes: “A look into a crystal ball reveals wealth management as a woman’s world.” Firms that don’t hire and train more female advisors, O’Connor suggests, will remain “behind the curve on economic power of women.”

With the new FT 100 listing, the Financial Times celebrates excellent advisors by showcasing their inspiring success in an industry still stacked against them.

Click here to view the list and read the special report.