Slideshow Which independent broker-dealers have the highest percentage of women advisors?

Published
  • June 11 2018, 5:23pm EDT

Women financial advisors stand a long way from equal footing with men in terms of hiring and pay — and independent broker-dealers are no exception to the industry-wide disparities.

The average share of female registered representatives out of the total headcounts of the largest IBDs amounts to an estimated 17%, according to data submitted by firms for Financial Planning’s 33rd annual FP50 survey. The exact figures cannot be measured, however, since 21 of the 50 largest firms did not provide data about the gender breakdown of their advisors.

Available figures for the industry show the continuing lack of equality for women, who census figures say make up 50.8% of the U.S. population.

Female financial advisors earned 59 cents for every dollar received by men last year, the worst gender pay gap of any industry tracked by the Bureau of Labor Standards. And only 23% of CFPs are women, according to the CFP Board.

The ranks of chief executives at the 50 largest IBDs reflect the disparity as well. Just eight of the firms on the list are led by women.

Both lack of hiring and the unequal pay may help explain why wealth management performed the worst on a survey by SourceMedia earlier this year on the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace across several different industries.

However, professional organizations and many firms have launched efforts aimed at narrowing the persistent gender divide. Internships, mentoring programs and forums could help spur change in the industry.

Several IBDs are also leading their peers by example in their recruitment of women. Transamerica Financial Advisors has had the highest share of female reps of any firm for at least two years running. And three of the five IBDs in the Ladenburg Thalmann network made the top 10 in the space.

The industry as a whole faces a long and steep path if it’s ever to mirror the U.S. population — or at least come close to it. Experts and industry leaders also point to boosting the number of women advisors as critical to attracting the next generation of clients.

The figures in the top 10 list represent the percentages of female registered reps disclosed by firms for the end of the year in 2017. The data on the overall count of female reps at each firm comes from estimates based on those percentages.

To see which firms have made the most progress on narrowing the gender divide, click through our slideshow. To see last year’s list, click here. For an overall recap of the year 2017 in the IBD space, see FP50 2018: Independent broker-dealers adapt to survive.

10. (tie) Voya Financial Advisors

2017 revenue: $429,304,000
FP50 ranking: 15
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 2,348
% female reps: 18%
Number of female reps: 423
2016 female rep ranking: 11
2016 % female reps: 18%

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10. (tie) Commonwealth Financial Network

2017 revenue: $1,241,572,000
FP50 ranking: 4
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 2,172
% female reps: 18%
Number of female reps: 391
2016 female rep ranking: 11
2016 % female reps: 18%

8. (tie) Lincoln Investment Planning

2017 revenue: $309,700,000
FP50 ranking: 21
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 1,487
% female reps: 19%
Number of female reps: 283
2016 female rep ranking: 10
2016 % female reps: 19%

8. (tie) Centaurus Financial

2017 revenue: $147,028,000
FP50 ranking: 33
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 633
% female reps: 19%
Number of female reps: 120
2016 female rep ranking: 9
2016 % female reps: 20%

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7. KMS Financial Services

2017 revenue: $108,414,000
FP50 ranking: 42
Network: Ladenburg Thalmann
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 416
% female reps: 22%
Number of female reps: 92
2016 female rep ranking: 6
2016 % female reps: 26%

5. (tie) Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors

2017 revenue: $476,612,000
FP50 ranking: 13
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 1,467
% female reps: 24%
Number of female reps: 352
2016 female rep ranking: 8
2016 % female reps: 23%

5. (tie) J.W. Cole Financial

2017 revenue: $104,600,000
FP50 ranking: 43
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 480
% female reps: 24%
Number of female reps: 115
2016 female rep ranking: 8
2016 % female reps: 23%

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4. (tie) Cambridge Investment Research

2017 revenue: $811,396,000
FP50 ranking: 7
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 3,956
% female reps: 25%
Number of female reps: 1,007
2016 female rep ranking: 6
2016 % female reps: 25%
Note: Cambridge Investment Research was added to the list later due to a data collection issue. The rest of the numbers on the list reflect firms’ initial positions.

4. Cadaret, Grant & Co.

2017 revenue: $158,486,000
FP50 ranking: 32
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 830
% female reps: 25%
Number of female reps: 208
2016 female rep ranking: 7
2016 % female reps: 24%

2. (tie) Securities America

2017 revenue: $637,300,000
FP50 ranking: 10
Network: Ladenburg Thalmann
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 2,506
% female reps: 28%
Number of female reps: 702
2016 female rep ranking: 3
2016 % female reps: 30%

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2. (tie) Triad Advisors

2017 revenue: $183,881,000
FP50 ranking: 28
Network: Ladenburg Thalmann
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 810
% female reps: 28%
Number of female reps: 227
2016 female rep ranking: 4
2016 % female reps: 28%

1. Transamerica Financial Advisors

2017 revenue: $93,818,000
FP50 ranking: 45
Total registered reps (year-end 2017): 3,364
% female reps: 39%
Number of female reps: 1,312
2016 female rep ranking: 1
2016 % female reps: 37%