Strategy

Harris myCFO Interview: Don't Treat Females As The "Silent Partner" In The Client Family

Wendy Spires, Group Deputy Editor, 9 August 2012

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Debra Doran, managing director of family office services at Chicago-headquartered Harris myCFO, discusses how wealth management firms should be shaping their offerings to involve females more.

Debra Doran, managing director of family office services at Chicago-headquartered Harris myCFO, discusses how wealth management firms should be shaping their offerings to involve females more.

Female high net worth individuals are increasingly looking to take more control of their financial destinies and helping them to do that should form a fundamental part of wealth managers’ strategies going forward, Debra Doran of Harris myCFO told this publication in a recent interview.

Doran, who is based in Seattle, believes that the financial crisis was a “wake-up call” to many women, meaning that now, more than ever before, they are concerned about the security of their family’s lifestyle and the legacy they will leave behind.

According to Doran, a step-change is occurring whereby even women in very traditional family set-ups are taking a more hands-on approach to wealth management, whereas before they were fine with ceding this responsibility to their husbands.

This change is ongoing however, meaning that there are lots of female clients out there who aren’t as involved in the management of their wealth as they might be wish to be. In fact, Doran also believes that a professional disconnect exists which means that many successful female financial services professionals defer to their partners on domestic wealth management matters - this despite the fact that they run large sums of money at work for their clients every day.

Recent research would seem to bear this out. A study released by Schwab Advisor Services last month revealed that 29 per cent of HNW married women would like to be more involved in the financial decisions for their household.

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