© 2020 Arizent. All rights reserved.

IBD Elite 2020: Firms with the highest percentage of women advisors

Despite years of stated diversity goals and programs, wealth management’s stark racial and gender disparities remain evident in every available measure of representation.

In the independent broker-dealer sector, the firms reporting the highest percentages of producing representatives who are women still fall far below reflecting their 51% share of the U.S. population. IBDs where women comprise a 17% share of the financial advisor ranks — about one-sixth — are among the leaders.

Even more disturbingly, the sector-wide figure is likely lower. In Financial Planning’s 35th annual IBD Elite survey, 28 of 50 participating firms didn’t disclose any gender demographic data about their advisor ranks.

The firms that did share their demographics enable FP and other independent observers to track the industry’s progress. In fact, one marker rose from the previous year. The No. 1 firm said 40% of its producing advisors were women at the end of 2019, compared to 31% for the IBD at the top of the rankings in 2018.

Still, like the prior year, only two firms reported percentages above 25%, down from five at the end of 2017 and seven in 2016. In a less firm-specific measure of planners who are women, the CFP Board says that a record 1,298 new female certificants in 2019 pushed the total above 20,000 women CFPs for the first time. Only 23% of CFPs are women.

At the management level, six IBDs listed women as their chief executive: ProEquities, Northwestern Mutual, M Holdings Securities, KMS Financial Services, H. Beck and Cambridge Investment Research. The industry clearly has a long way to go to reflect the gender demographics of the U.S. population, or the number of Black or Latino people in America.

Scroll down the list to see which IBDs have the highest share of producing representatives who are women.

2020 IBD Elite female reps No. 9c.png
LaSalle St. Securities
# of producing reps (year-end 2019): 310
% of producing reps who are women: 17%
# of producing reps (year-end 2018): 300
% of producing reps who are women: 15%
2020 IBD Elite female reps No. 9b.png
United Planners Financial Services
# of producing reps (year-end 2019): 419
% of producing reps who are women: 17%
# of producing reps (year-end 2018): 418
% of producing reps who are women: 16%
2020 IBD Elite female reps No. 9a.png
Cambridge Investment Research
# of producing reps (year-end 2019): 3,407
% of producing reps who are women: 17%
# of producing reps (year-end 2018): 3,296
% of producing reps who are women: 17%
2020 IBD Elite female reps No. 8.png
Commonwealth Financial Network
# of producing reps (year-end 2019): 2,007
% of producing reps who are women: 18%
# of producing reps (year-end 2018): 1,885
% of producing reps who are women: 18%
2020 IBD Elite female reps No. 7.png
Voya Financial Advisors
# of producing reps (year-end 2019): 1,707
% of producing reps who are women: 19%
# of producing reps (year-end 2018): 1,717
% of producing reps who are women: 18%
2020 IBD Elite female reps No. 6.png
Lincoln Investment Planning
# of producing reps (year-end 2019): 1,051
% of producing reps who are women: 20%
# of producing reps (year-end 2018): 1,069
% of producing reps who are women: 20%
2020 IBD Elite female reps No. 5.png
Centaurus Financial
# of producing reps (year-end 2019): 635
% of producing reps who are women: 21%
# of producing reps (year-end 2018): 638
% of producing reps who are women: 20%
2020 IBD Elite female reps No. 4.png
Independent Financial Group
# of producing reps (year-end 2019): 553
% of producing reps who are women: 23%
# of producing reps (year-end 2018): 540
% of producing reps who are women: 23%
2020 IBD Elite female reps No. 3.png
Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors
# of producing reps (year-end 2019): 939
% of producing reps who are women: 24%
# of producing reps (year-end 2018): 1,060
% of producing reps who are women: 24%
2020 IBD Elite female reps No. 2.png
Securities America
Network: Advisor Group
# of producing reps (year-end 2019): 2,608
% of producing reps who are women: 29%
# of producing reps (year-end 2018): 2,600
% of producing reps who are women: 29%
2020 IBD Elite female reps No. 1.png
Kovack Securities
# of producing reps (year-end 2019): 382
% of producing reps who are women: 40%
# of producing reps (year-end 2018): 405
% of producing reps who are women: 39%