Stating the Obvious

Once again, an article on Bloomberg.com has inspired today’s topic – women matter.

I know, it seems obvious, but this has been a recurring theme in the press lately. I have read several articles in financial industry magazines about how advisors can attract more female clients. One article actually said there was more to it than just putting out fresh flowers in the office. And this is news?

It’s a well-intentioned article, but it just seems a little ridiculous. I’m not denying that there are differences between the genders, but I tend to believe that everyone appreciates a financial advisor who listens, asks valid questions, treats them respectfully, and makes them feel valued, regardless of gender. I would certainly hope that advisors treat all of their clients this way – I know we endeavor to do so in our practice.

The article on Bloomberg.com that caught my eye was also female-centric, but it was about a Dutch private equity fund founded by three women. The fund invests in companies with a balance of male and female top executives, citing research by McKinsey & Co. that found companies with the highest percentage of women directors made a 41% greater return on equity than companies with all-male boards. What I found especially interesting was that the fund is not doing this to “serve the cause of women,” as one of the founders said, but because they think companies with gender-balanced management perform better on average, a belief that is backed by more than one study.

I have to admit I am pleased to see greater efforts being made to include women, whether it’s as potential clients or as vital members of a company’s senior management. Women have something to offer! Who knew?

Sarah DerGarabedian, CFA
Director of Research

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