The wealth management industry is increasingly hospitable to women, and more females are finding jobs in the profession. According to a Cerulli study cited by Barron’s, 28 percent of rookie advisors are female, compared to 14 percent of all wealth advisors. Another study found that 70 percent of female investors (who control 51 percent of the wealth in the U.S.) prefer to work with a female advisor. Female professionals say the two biggest concerns that need to be addressed to accelerate the trend are an ability to balance the career with motherhood, and a larger number of women in leadership roles.
While banking and payments start-ups have been the big winners in the initial rounds of fintech, venture capitalist Bernard Moon expects “long-term and more game-changing innovations” to come out of consumer finance companies (peer-to-peer lending, robo advisors, personal finance and credit assessment). Moon, co-founder and general partner of SparkLabs Global, gives an overview on TechCrunch.com of how innovation and technology will disrupt financial services. The industry, he writes, faces a difficult task, as new technologies swoop in and change the way large institutions have been doing things for years. He believes the biggest long-term investment opportunities are in start-ups looking to replace the banks and insurance institutions. In wealth management, there’s still a wide chasm between traditional institutions, managing trillions of dollars, and start-ups such as Betterment and Wealthfront, managing just a few billion.
Will a new breed of nontransparent ETFs save active portfolio managers from being rolled over by passive index investing? According to Business Insider, ETFs are rapidly eating up assets formerly housed with mutual funds, hitting $2.2 trillion in April. The ETF share in the U.S. is at 15 percent today, but within 10 years, it could reach 40 to 60 percent, says Credit Suisse analyst Craig Siegenthaler. Yet there is a new type of ETF that seeks to give active managers an edge. The New York Stock Exchange late last month filed an application to permit 15 nontransparent ETFs by Precidian. They function just like an existing ETF, but their holdings are only disclosed on a quarterly basis and redemptions are carried out through confidential accounts. While NextShares launched its first NETF with Nasdaq in February, a decision on the Precidian funds should come by September or October.