IBD Elite 2019: Which firms have the most reps who are women?
Women make up 51% of the U.S. population and about 17% of affiliated producing representatives of independent broker-dealers.
The first statistic represents the latest census figure showing the U.S. government’s definitive study of the country’s population. The latter one represents the stark finding from the limited number of IBDs who publicly disclose their gender demographic data.
Only 28 out of 52 firms submitting key performance indicators such as their annual revenue, share of fee-based business and other metrics as of the end of the previous year for Financial Planning’s annual IBD Elite study reported how many of their financial advisors are women.
As the industry seeks to better reflect the nation’s demographics, the ranks of firms willing to provide the information shrank by one firm from the 2018 study. The average share of producing reps who are women among firms that did share the figure remained roughly one-sixth.
While the number of CFPs who are women is higher, at 23% of advisors with the certification, the amount affiliated with IBDs would likely be even lower if each firm did participate. Only two IBDs even top 25%, down from seven in 2017 and five last year.
Several firms — including a few of the larger ones in the space — do stand out from their peers in terms of having a higher share of advisors who are women. Lincoln Investment Group Holdings is also the only firm with women making up more than 30% of its advisors.
Ladenburg Thalmann’s Securities America and KMS Financial Services, Advisor Group’s FSC Securities and SagePoint Financial, Cambridge Investment Research and Commonwealth Financial Network each made the list with their producing reps being at least 17% women.
Cambridge CEO Amy Webber, KMS CEO Erinn Ford and H. Beck President Michelle Barry also represent three firms on the list that are led by women. Just six out of the 52 IBDs in the IBD Elite survey have tapped women to be their head executive.
Making demographic data available helps firms and key stakeholders to define and meet their goals in boosting diversity, Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, executive director of the CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning, has pointed out.
“I think that's really important if we're going to make progress,” Mohrman-Gillis said in an interview earlier this year. “The idea of being transparent and challenging yourself in a public way is a measure of accountability.”
To see which firms have the largest number of women among their ranks of advisors, scroll down the slideshow. For last year’s list, click here. And to see the full recap of the previous year in the IBD space, see “IBD Elite 2019: Time to celebrate? Not just yet.”