Two new diversity initiatives will help women advisors and advisors under 40 collaborate and network with peers and mentors, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services announced Monday.
The dual initiatives were announced at Ladenburg’s inaugural consolidated National Conference currently underway in Seattle, Wash. (the first of the firm’s two national conferences to be held this year) for Securities America and KMS Financial Services, two of the companies’ five IAB subsidiaries. However, the initatives will be available for all five subsidiary firms.
The Super Women’s Summit, originally developed by Securities America, was attended by nearly 200 female advisors, offering space for collaboration between female advisors at varying career stages, as well as a pre-conference discussion on how to maintain health and wellness (and how doing so enables advisors to produce greater value for clients). KMS Financial Services President and CEO Erinn Ford said the summit would show Ladenburg’s women advisors that that they are part of a “greater family” invested in supporting their professional growth.
“As we seek to bring more women into the financial advice profession, it is profoundly important that we provide women advisors who are with Ladenburg’s IABs with expanded opportunities to share their experiences and architect a community that can serve as a home for future generations of women professionals,” she said.
Summits like this take place as the industry continues to face a pervasive gender gap, both in gender diversity of advisors and the amount of assets managed by female-owned firms; only 15 percent of executive suites are occupied by women, and only 17 percent of financial advisors in the country are women. Additionally, while women manage approximately 3 percent of firms, they manage only 1 percent of total assets under management.
Ladenburg also launched the NxG Connect Study Group. The new opportunity was available for advisors under the age of 40 at the firm’s five subsidiaries, and nearly 60 next-generation advisors attended. Securities America developed this study group during the last five years, with the firm’s CEO and President Jim Nagengast saying it would help Ladenburg’s next-gen advisors gain access to dozens of senior advisors and experts who could offer pointed advice and support.
“Despite all of the talk around the impending shortage of qualified financial advisors who can deliver professional guidance to underserved retail investors across the country, the industry has continued to fall short in translating noise into action,” he said. “Our first-ever enterprise-wide NxG Connect session marks the commencement of a new stage of concerted efforts from Ladenburg’s family of firms to attract next-generation advisors, show them that they are not alone, and accelerate their career development.”
Both the Super Women’s Summit and the NxG Connect Study Group will also be featured at Ladenburg’s second conference this year in August in Washington, D.C. The firm also hopes that attendees of the first next-gen study group will keep in touch digitally throughout the year.