LPL Financial (LPLA) says it will host its first stand-alone women’s conference in November. It expects about 125 female registered reps to attend.
“It’s part of our long-term goal of focusing on diversity in general and moving the needle for women and others. It really makes sense, too, considering the growing importance of women clients and the wealth they are inheriting,” said Susan Fargo, head of business consulting for LPL, during a forum for female advisors held on Sunday during the broker-dealer’s annual conference.
During LPL’s Focus event, held recently in San Diego, more than 160 female advisors met for the ninth-annual forum, which features top female reps and guest speakers. The Navy’s first female F-14 Tomcat pilot — Carey Lohrenz —spoke to the group.
The women’s forum and upcoming stand-alone event “were driven by the advisors, who are looking to build a community,” Fargo said, “so we have been adding to efforts to the program.” For instance, at gatherings of top-performing LPL reps, there are events for the female advisors.
Women represent more than 10% of LPL’s roughly 14,000 affiliated reps and their licensed staff, she says. “Long term, we want to be the destination for women advisors,” explained Fargo. “It’s a journey.”
Fargo has been with LPL for the past 10 years. “We started with baby steps, and now the program really has legs. The group is so great, and all the female advisors want to support each other.”
At its upcoming November event, one theme will be striking a work-life balance. Plus, with the presidential election results known before the conference begins, Chief Investment Officer Burt White will update the attendees on the political economy.
“We will be meeting on the Wednesday after election day, so we will weave that in,” Fargo said. “It should be very exciting.”
Female advisors and staffers at LPL also get together or speak via phone as part of LPL’s study-group effort, which now includes 70 groups. “This creates networks, and it’s great for advisors to learn from each other,” both in terms of advancing the performance of female reps and helping LPL reps in general to work more with female clients, she explained.
“We made a big push with [the study group] program,” Fargo said. “The issue of how you work [best] with women is becoming more and more important.”