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Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

Women in Wealth are Owners and RIAs

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In February conducted the 2010 Top Women in Wealth survey–the second annual survey of U.S.-based women who manage wealth. The survey was open to women at all types of firms: wirehouse, independent broker/dealer (B/D), and registered investment advisors. As always the survey findings are fascinating.

To those who took the time to complete our survey, thank you!

Of the women who participated, a whopping 82% were principals, owners or partners in their firms. The majority, 60%, are registered investment advisors, and of those, 70% are registered with the SEC rather than state registered. The range in asset and clients is wide: from $13 million to $18.8 billion in assets under management (AUM), and from advising three to 1037 households.

Uncertainty about regulation was the most pressing concern of these participants. Many expressed the opinion that they’d like to see the fiduciary standard extended to cover all who provide advice to investors. That’s not particularly surprising since most are RIAs who are already fiduciaries. They by-and-large don’t want to be regulated by FINRA, they say.

Uncertainty about taxes–the sunset of EGTRRA tax reforms and the disappearance of the estate tax for 2010 and its return in 2011 (or potentially before if Congress decides to tackle that this year), is a concern for both the wealth managers and their clients.

Relatively few of the survey participants have ventured into social networking for their firms, however 20% have a LinkedIn site, 9% have a Facebook site and 6% use Twitter.

Ranks of the women who manage wealth and those women who possess wealth are growing, according to a number of recent studies. “Women’s influence likely will continue to grow,” according to “A Pivotal Role,” in Northern Trust’s Wealth magazine. “Today, women control more than 51% of the personal wealth in the United States, and they are set to inherit trillions of dollars more as the World War II generation begins to transfer its wealth.” will be writing periodically about additional findings in the Women in Wealth survey–there a great deal to report.


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