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Raymond James Bosses Have Big Ideas to Dramatically Change the Industry

October 1, 2018

The financial advice industry is trying to ameliorate the lack of diversity among its ranks, with only 16% of advisor roles currently being held by women, ThinkAdvisor writes. One way to do that, according to Raymond James CEO Paul Reilly, is through better marketing of the job itself, according to the publication.

Men are still more likely to be interested in a financial advisor job than women, who are worried about not having a guaranteed income, ThinkAdvisor writes. In addition, some women want a healthier work-life balance — and that’s exactly what financial advice can offer them, Reilly tells the publication.

“It’s a great lifestyle job, since clients don’t have many financial emergencies” requiring late hours or weekend work, he tells ThinkAdvisor. “We have to get the message out that financial advisors’ work is [Main Street and] not Wall Street … ”

Women and minorities make up about 30% of the 250 participants in Raymond James’s advisor trainee program annually, but it’s unclear how the firm can get to 50%, Reilly tells the publication. One thing that could help would be to have a famous TV character who’s a female financial advisor, according to Michelle Lynch, head of Raymond James’ Network for Women Advisors, ThinkAdvisor writes.

“We need a TV show, like an ‘Ally McBeal,’ the attorney, and the doctor shows,” she tells the publication.

Meanwhile, Raymond James is collaborating with other large wealth management firms on ways to increase the pool of advisors, although it’s through an informal group that has so far only met once and isn’t meeting again for a few months, according to Lynch, ThinkAdvisor writes.

“Lots of male advisors want a woman as their successor partner but we do not have a bucket of women for them to partner with,” Lynch tells the publication. “We have to boost awareness and use as many resources as we can to spread the word.”

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the ThinkAdvisor article cited in this story, click here.