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Why Some Edward Jones Advisors are Seeing Higher Client Retention Rates

By Mrinalini Krishna March 21, 2019

Women in the industry are embracing technology to serve their clients better and scale their businesses, according to an Edward Jones survey of 107 female financial advisors at the firm.

Over a fifth of Edward Jones’ 17,000-plus advisor population is comprised of women, Katherine Mauzy, principal of financial advisor talent acquisition at Edward Jones told FA-IQ in an interview last month.

The survey suggests that rather than viewing disruptive technology as a threat to their practice, women advisors are treating it as a complement to enhance their services.

Nearly 60% of respondents said technology will help them with more data and tools to offer goal-based personalized advice to their clients.

"While new and disruptive technology has put pressure on the financial services industry, it has also enabled financial advisors to better determine appropriate solutions for clients’ increasingly complex needs," says Mauzy in a press release accompanying the survey results. "Financial advisors are able to speed up cumbersome and tedious processes while creating a clearer path for more personalized, goals-based planning."

Among the respondents, nearly 66% said they used client relationship management (CRM) software to track prospects, clients and leads. And 60% utilized web-based meeting tools to interact with clients. These advisors also adopted online resources (38%) and social media (28%) to connect and interface with clients.

Edward Jones is making a conscious effort to work on the diversity of its advisor population, and the efforts seem to be yielding results. The firm not only managed to increase the number of women advisors in its fold, but has also been successful in keeping them there.

“We’re seeing that the retention rates for women financial advisors are outpacing those of the male financial advisors. And what that tells me is, we’re attracting women that have the competencies and skills and desire to do the work, and we’re working hard to create an onboarding program to ensure their success,” Mauzy told FA-IQ last month.

The firm has a dedicated program called Women’s Initiative for Growth Strategies (WINGS) that offers tools, mentorship and coaching for women advisors.

While it maintains its commitment to diversity hiring and promotion, some of Edward Jones’ initiatives have also landed the firm in hot water.

Edward Jones HQ, St. Louis (pic credit: Jim Wolfe)

In June 2018, as previously reported, Edward Jones proposed offering advisors looking to retire or streamline their business an additional 10% of their assets as an incentive to transition their books to women or minority advisors at the firm.

Edward Jones has also been the target of a class-action lawsuit for racial discrimination, filed by an African-American former advisor in May 2018. The lawsuit mentions the firm’s transition policies as a part of alleged systemic discrimination problems. The firm has denied the allegations.