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How FINRA's 2017 Exam Findings Report, 2018 Priorities Letter May Impact Digital Communications Policies

In its annual tradition, FINRA recently published two reports, one summarizing enforcement actions that took place in 2017 and the other providing a preview of important topics it will focus on in 2018. As usual, the report highlighted FINRA’s continued emphasis on investor protection and market integrity.
However, what do these reports tell member firms about their electronic communications policies?

2017 Examination Findings Report, December Board of Governors Meeting

The 2017 year-in-review report highlighted continued problems with member firms’ inability to comply with FINRA rules regarding broker-dealers properly disclosing outside business activities to member firms.
Indeed, this was a topic addressed at FINRA’s December Board of Governors meeting. Specifically, FINRA will be seeking comment on a practice to “require registered persons to provide their member firms with prior written notice of a broad range of outside activities, and would impose on firms a duty to reasonably assess a narrower set of activities that are investment-related, allowing firms to focus on outside activities that are more likely to raise potential investor-protection concerns.”
The best case scenario is that FINRA will develop a list of criteria in order to help firms determine a smaller set of activities that will represent a real conflict of interest. Currently, because there isn’t any concrete guidance on what outside activities are a conflict of interest, compliance departments spend an inordinate amount of time reviewing advisor activities that are clearly not prohibited.
If adopted, this new proposal would immensely help compliance departments in reducing the amount of review of advisors’ outside business activities. This could also mean that member firms would be more willing to allow their advisors to disclose outside business activities, hobbies and other interests on their social media profiles.

2018 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter

The 2018 preview report offers some insight that FINRA is looking deeper into the technical and security controls that member firms employ when dealing with customer information. The report has an extensive section on cybersecurity considerations, including risk assessments of technology systems as well as vendor management programs.
Compliance departments in charge of company electronic communications channels would do well to critically examine the vendors employed to enable these channels and ensure compliance on an annual basis. This is especially important given additional legislation looming on the horizon, such as New York’s cybersecurity regulation that will come into effect on March 1, 2018, placing increased pressure on financial services companies to take cybersecurity – including the cybersecurity of its vendors – seriously.
Overall, FINRA’s reports show a continued focus on eliminating fraud and consumer deception. By highlighting concerns with cybersecurity in 2018, new technology might come under heightened scrutiny as it evolves to meet consumer demands (for instance, increasing consumer demand for text messaging options).
For more information, check out these excellent summaries of the wide variety of topics addressed in the reports: The Broker-Dealer Law Corner, Financial Services Observer and the BD/IA Regulator.
Disclaimer: The material available on this blog is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. We make no guarantees on the accuracy of the information provided herein.
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From Regulatory Compliance to Relationship Insights: Why Financial Services is Uniquely Positioned to Benefit From the Data Analytics Revolution

In the early Hearsay years, our customers came to us because they realized social media was here to stay and, to take advantage of it, they needed to satisfy the complex record-keeping regulations that govern advisor-client communications in financial services. Little attention was paid to these records, aside from the need to retain and review them for compliance infractions.
Eight years later, with tens of millions of client contact records and interaction activities logged across Facebook, Twitter, text messages, emails, and website visits, we’re now embarking on a journey with our customers to do much more – harness this data to drive powerful relationship insights for the 150,000+ advisors on our platform.
According to McKinsey Global Institute, the application of big data analytics to healthcare and government alone could yield $300 billion in savings and value creation in the next four years. With over $60 trillion in global wealth assets under management and $4 trillion in insurance premiums written last year, the wealth management and insurance industries could stand to gain even more. There are a few reasons for this.
First, the financial services industry benefits from having complete and reliable data, thanks to a clear compliance mandate from industry record-keeping and supervision rules such as SEC Rule 17a-4, FINRA Rule 3010, and FINRA Regulatory Notices 17-18, 11-39, and 10-06. Data analytics are only as good as the data that goes in, as summarized in this recent Capgemini paper.
Second, having a human in-the-loop, such as a wealth advisor or insurance agent, results in the greatest efficiency and accuracy in decision-making. Firms like Morgan Stanley are investing in predictive technologies that serve up prescriptive next-best actions for their 16,000 advisors based on data from Hearsay and other sources.
Finally, as Andrew Ng and others have proven, the most accurate machine learning is domain-specific, since you can define constraints and make assumptions that focuses the algorithm. There are only so many topics, for example, that one ever discusses with her insurance agent. Specifying that constraint narrows down the analytical problem to one that’s much easier to crunch. Venture capitalist Michael Yamnitsky has a nice explanation of this in his TechCrunch op-ed:
Narrow data sets to shorten training periods and get to market faster. AI systems thrive off brute statistical analysis on big data. But much like teenagers, they need a little help being pointed in the right direction. The cloud business app is a narrow enough domain for the fledgling AI to flourish. Domain-specific data acts like the high-school basketball coach, helping the untrained AI identify relationships between inputs and desired outcomes, and shortening the training period necessary to run with success.”
Financial industry-specific workflows with an agent or advisor in the loop and complete data thanks to a compliance mandate are exactly what’s powering Hearsay’s mission to enable every advisor to be high-tech and high-touch at scale. Every aspect of our Advisor Cloud platform is specific to advisor-client engagement, and every interaction feeds back into analytics for our customers. We’ve taken regulatory compliance, which has traditionally been viewed as a burden, and transformed it into a game-changing opportunity.
For example, today we are unveiling three new capabilities for advisors to automate industry-specific tasks.
Client Reminders, driven by domain-specific proprietary data and workflows. From tax reminders and following up on a Required Minimum Distribution to billing reminders and “happy birthday” messages, Hearsay now makes it easy for advisors to trigger high-value wealth management and insurance touchpoints via text message or email that are personal, authentic, and actionable. (Using our Team Texting Console, assistants and support staff can perform these actions on the advisor’s behalf.)

Dynamic Campaigns, which automatically build advisors’ social media and online brand based on their personal and professional attributes, as well as attributes of their ideal client segment. Marketing teams create or curate timely news, lifestyle, and industry content, which advisors can opt in to have automatically posted to their social media profiles and individual business websites. Popular Campaigns include Retirees, Young Families, Business Owners, and Wine Lovers.

CRM Sync. Best of all, these social media, text, email, and website interactions can be synced to your customer relationship management (CRM) system, providing valuable and unprecedented visibility into advisor-client engagement without manual data entry by advisors.
There’s no doubt that today’s advisors and agents must do more with less. Thankfully, regulatory compliance rules, along with industry-specific workflows and human intervention, provide us with an enormous opportunity to help. The future of financial advice and insurance is high-tech and high-touch at scale.
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Hearsay’s Winter '18 Product Launch is Here


We’re excited to announce that the Winter ’18 launch is now generally available to all customers as of Monday, January 22! This launch is packed with product innovations to help advisors efficiently attract prospects, retain clients and grow business on digital. From automating social and website posts, to scaling one-to-one advisor-client interactions, the new features and functionality run across our portfolio of products — the Hearsay Advisor Cloud.
The best part? Many of these new features come straight from suggestions from our incredible customer base. Thank you for your continued partnership and commitment to innovation; we look forward to helping you scale your advisor digital programs in 2018.
(Read the related post by our founder and CEO, Clara Shih: From Regulatory Compliance to Relationship Insights: Why Financial Services is Uniquely Positioned to Benefit From the Data Analytics Revolution.)

For Advisor Social Media and Advisor Sites:

Dynamic Campaigns
Dynamic Campaigns allow you to automate publishing for advisors, ensuring even your busiest advisors generate awareness on social media and publish fresh content to their websites. With Dynamic Campaigns, you can now add content to active campaigns. The result? Your advisors subscribe to a campaign once, and relevant content will publish to their social profiles and websites as long as you’d like.
1-to-1 Outreach
In financial services, it’s the one-to-one interactions that drive client acquisition and retention. Hearsay Social’s new 1-to-1 Outreach tool allows your advisors to efficiently scale these critical touchpoints on clients’ preferred channels (like email). Even better, Hearsay combines engagement data with pre-written messages to help advisors reach out to the right client or prospect, at the right time, with the right message.

Action List
The Action List is Hearsay Social’s new homepage. Like a social selling to-do list, it lists the most important actions an advisor needs to take – on any given day – in order to be as successful as possible. This might be a Job Change Signal to follow up on, a Campaign to subscribe to, a profile edit from compliance, and more. By taking the guesswork out of social selling, you’re able to save each advisor time while making a larger percentage of your advisors successful.

For Advisor Messages:

Reminders, Including Billing
Our Reminders feature enables advisors to proactively schedule high-value texts to their clients. We’ve built this financial services-specific feature to help advisors automate texts that drive client engagement and retention.
In this first advisor workflow, Reminders is focused on billing policy reminders. It allows advisors to easily send billing reminders to their customers through the Web application. If the advisor has a client that has not yet opted in, the first message sent will be the opt-in message.
Conversation Filtering
Advisors can quickly sort through their client texts with Conversation Filtering. This allows advisors to filter their conversations by clients who have opted in, need to opt-in, pending opt-in, opted out and been hidden.
Blocking and Alerting
Historically, it has been difficult for compliance officers to understand which terms or emojis caused text messages to trigger policy violations from their advisors. With Blocking and Alerting, compliance officers can understand if specific policies are too stringent or sufficient to mitigate risk for the firm. How? Hearsay can quickly report all the attempts to send out terms that were blocked in the blocking lexicon.
Email Notifications for Unread Messages
Email Notifications for Unread Messages makes it easy for an advisor or their assistant to stay on top of client communications – without staying logged into Hearsay Messages 24/7. These email notifications alert users of client texts that haven’t been read so they don’t leave a client request unresolved.

For the Hearsay Platform:

Salesforce Connector
The Hearsay Salesforce Connector syncs your company’s contact records with advisor digital activity for stronger data organization and better communication across channels. By integrating your CRM system with Hearsay, your client data becomes more actionable at every stage of the sales funnel – from prospecting across social media and websites, to driving one-to-one engagement over email and text between Hearsay and Salesforce. With unified data and a more complete picture of a client’s life, advisors can engage in a smarter, more relevant way across every touchpoint. The solution is highly configurable and can be tailored to your existing business processes, data requirements and compliance standards.
Accounts Overview
The Accounts Overview is a new page that displays the state of connected accounts and profiles in one place, so that supervision officers can easily identify workspaces that they need to follow up with. In the past, a supervision officer had to run multiple reports to see this data. With the launch of Accounts Overview, this information is front and center, eliminating the need to run and join reports, and helping supervision officers better utilize their time and attention.
Related:

How Can You Improve Gender Diversity at Your Firm? (Part 2)

This is part two of a two-part series on gender inclusion in the financial services industry; read part one.
In part one of this series, we explored two problems from a recent InvestmentNews study, Women in Advice: Inspiring the Next Generation of Financial Advisors. Researchers found that stalled professional progress and work-life balance were among the five common problems faced by women financial advisors when it came to their careers.
The final three concerns involve pipeline and career progression.

3. Too Few Women Advisors

According to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the percentage of women who hold a CFP certificate has stayed steady throughout the past 15 years at around 23 percent, despite an increase of overall certificate holders by 80 percent. Interest in a financial advisory career is clearly growing, so why isn’t the number of female advisors growing with it?

Also, not many women know that financial advisory is a possible career path in the first place. The lacking public awareness of financial advisor careers, coupled with the fact that most people misunderstand what financial advisors do, might be contributing to this discrepancy.
Action Item: Active recruitment of the next generation of women
Most firms might already be tackling their gender diversity and inclusion problems by trying to reach out to more female job candidates, but the follow-through and results tend to vary.
The InvestmentNews survey showed that the top reasons why women go into this field are because they have a desire to help people and because they enjoy connecting with clients. One way to recruit more female advisors is to leverage your advisor tech stack, particularly if you have tools that can scale engagement and one-on-one interactions with clients.

Talking about the ways your firm prioritizes these aspects of an advisory career can turn more recruiting leads into actual prospects. For example, digital tools that help streamline and personalize communication with clients and prospects via social media or text messaging might be of particular interest to female prospects.
Recruiting should keep these motivational factors in mind when reaching out to the next generation of women in order to increase hiring success rates.

4. Lack of Role Models

The “role model theory” states that in order to easily imagine yourself in a higher position, you must see someone that you identify with as having gotten that position. This is consistent with InvestmentNews’ findings that 42 percent of female respondents cited the lack of women in leadership as contributing to gender inequality in the industry, as opposed to only 21 percent of male respondents.
Action Item: Commit to promoting women to leadership positions
As women see more female role models in leadership, it’ll become easier for them to imagine themselves in those roles, too. To improve the success of women in your organization, make it a priority to mentor the women at your firm and provide them with structured learning opportunities as well as consistent exposure to leadership. By investing in and empowering the women you already have, you’re investing in and empowering the female advisors of the future.

5. Lack of Opportunities

“Limited advancement opportunities” was chosen at a much higher rate by women than men as a barrier to advancement opportunities, according to the InvestmentNews survey. Some potential reasons for this might be because of a lack of defined career paths, gender stereotypes and stereotype threat, or something else entirely.

Action Item: Improve training and define career paths
The uncertainty of what the next steps should be in a woman’s career is another barrier holding women back from advancing. In order to mitigate this, firms must improve their training and define the available career paths for the women in their workforce.
Laying out clear-cut and organized career paths also helps foster an open and transparent workplace where the question of how one can be promoted – and to what positions – is apparent from day one.
Action Item: Tackle implicit sales bias
Throughout the industry, there is a growing demand for holistic financial advice, which means the success of the sales-focused advisor will soon be a thing of the past. The financial advisory industry has historically valued asset gathering and revenue generation above other firm activities, such as support and financial planning, which tend to be deprioritized.
Women who hold positions in other parts of the firm should be provided with mentorship and career growth opportunities to build their business development and sales skills in order to give them the tools necessary to succeed in leadership positions.

More Tactical Steps for Defeating Gender Inequality

Solving an issue as big as gender diversity might seem like a lofty goal, but the InvestmentNews study offered the following actionable tasks.

  • Make gender diversity a firm-wide commitment. Put it in your mission statement and all job descriptions. Set a company vision and follow through with the way you hire and promote individuals in your organization.
  • Establish new policies and programs. Take another look at your current recruiting practices, career paths and mentorship programs and see where you can improve.
  • Encourage and promote women into leadership positions. Send women to participate in leadership or executive programs. Provide opportunities for junior- and mid-career individuals to work directly with leadership on strategic projects.
  • Increase workplace flexibility. Allow employees to work from home or consider reworking your vacation and sick leave policies. If you don’t have a parental leave policy, look into creating one or revisit the one that you currently have to make it more updated with industry standards.
  • Be aware of any tacit sales biases. Client needs are changing and your advisors have to change with them. Holistic financial planning is in demand, so be cognizant of any implicit sales biases you might have.
  • Set goals and monitor progress. Follow through to the end and treat gender diversity as seriously as you would treat any other company initiative. This means that you need to not only implement new programs but also keep track of whether or not your programs are working. Set deadlines, document numerical goals, identify who is accountable for each aspect of the program’s success, and regularly monitor how the programs are performing.

As with any important business problem, the gender imbalance won’t be solved easily. It will take time, dedication and creative problem-solving to fix an issue that exists structurally as well as on a societal level. But, like any other important business problem, tackling it now will pay off for your employees, for your firm, and, ultimately, for your long-term bottom line.
Are you a current Hearsay customer? If so, join our “Recruiting the Hearsay Way” webinar on January 23, 8am PST/11am EST. Learn from our very own Customer Education team about how you can use social media to improve your recruiting efforts and build out a winning advisory team.
Related:

Texting Goes Mainstream for Financial Services Firms

Everyone from Prudential and Morgan Stanley to New York Life and now Merrill Lynch are allowing advisors to text, adding to the momentum that texting is gaining as an indispensable client communication channel. (See previous coverage on how financial services companies are embracing the texting/SMS channel on the Hearsay blog, InvestmentNews and Financial Advisor.)
The reasons for this accelerated momentum within financial services are many.

Helping Advisors Be More Efficient

Above all else is the client expectation of advisors being responsive on multiple digital channels. A recent study found that 60 percent of millennials prefer mobile apps, texting and email over other communication channels when interacting with businesses. In another survey on the great wealth transfer, 66 percent of adult children leave their parents’ financial advisor because they can’t connect with them.
Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and other wirehouses are not only recognizing this, but making enormous investments in opening texting as a channel as part of larger efforts to fully digitize their sales force.
“This is going to be an incredibly powerful sales productivity tool that is going to help people be more efficient and create deeper engagement earlier on in the process,” said Caroline Feeney, President, Prudential Advisors, during her keynote at our Hearsay Advisor Cloud Summit.

Heightened Scrutiny From Multiple Regulators

FINRA released compliance guidance for texting last April that requires firms to retain records of chat and text communication in the same manner that you would email or written communication. This means that regardless of your company policy, FINRA could request an audit of your advisors’ activities on this channel.
Regulatory agencies have started issuing fines for improper texting. In one case, FINRA found that an advisor who sent business text messages from his personal phone caused the member firm to violate its own recordkeeping policy. Similarly, the SEC found an investment advisor sent false and misleading text messages to induce a client to make a risky transaction. These types of cases appear to be part of a trend of increased scrutiny on text messaging by regulators.
In addition to regulatory fines, financial services companies are facing increased liability for improper texting. According to an August 2017 study by the Institute of Legal Reform, litigation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a law that regulates commercial text messaging, has increased by 46 percent since July of 2015; of that number, nearly 36 percent of all TCPA litigation target the financial services industry. The consequences of this can be severe: Liability under the TCPA ranges from $500 to $1,500 per text message, which can quickly add up given the volume of texts and the size of most advisory sales teams.

Compliance-Only Solution is Bare Minimum Approach

The initial approach by financial firms was similar to what they have done with any new communication channel: take an ultra conservative, compliance-control approach that ensures firms can monitor the new channel. There are three problems with this:

  • Compliance-only solutions are based more on compliance needs than advisors, resulting in poor adoption of the technology by the field.
  • Opening up a channel like texting, where expectations regarding response times are shorter versus other types of communication, overwhelms already burdened advisors who don’t have the time to respond to clients across multiple channels.
  • The end result is a frustrated advisor and an even more frustrated client.

The good news is that many companies see these market changes as a positive force. Instead of looking for compliance-only solutions that are built to monitor and control texting, more innovative companies – like Prudential – are seizing the opportunity to empower their advisors to engage on this channel, and capture client mindshare and wallet. For example, advisors can text all of the clients in their book to offer an annual review and financial plan, with one click.
Solutions like Hearsay Messages that are purpose-built for busy financial advisors not only enable compliant texting for them, but also capture the interactions in their customer relationship management (CRM) systems for driving sales insights. (See how Prudential leverages advisor text messaging with Hearsay Messages.)
The results so far are promising. More prospects and clients touched. More meetings confirmed. Fewer no-shows. Higher conversion and better relationships. Fully compliant.
Download our free report: Technology Landscape: 3 Approaches to Advisor-Client Texting Solutions for Financial Services
Disclaimer: The material available on this blog is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. We make no guarantees on the accuracy of the information provided herein.
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3 Approaches to Advisor-Client Texting for Financial Services

Adapted from our new report, Technology Landscape: 3 Approaches to Advisor-Client Texting Solutions for Financial Services
Financial services firms text their customers for a number of different reasons, and many already have corporate-driven texting programs in place. These programs might include sending automated security-related notifications like password resets and two-factor authentication, account and policy alerts, and for texting-based marketing and promotional campaigns led by the firm’s corporate marketing team.
Advisor-driven texting initiatives, while less common, are becoming increasingly critical for any firm that hopes to remain relevant and meet the ultra-personalized expectations of today’s digital-first consumer. A firm stands to lose a substantial amount of business – as well as advisor productivity – if advisors can’t easily and quickly reach clients, and vice versa. The ability to promptly notify a client about a payment or policy change, confirm a meeting, or send a birthday or anniversary message all can be accomplished with a simple text.

Texting Solution Types

A firm looking to implement texting technology for advisors usually takes one of three approaches:

  • In-house solutions that are custom-developed by their own IT teams, often used to fulfill objectives from multiple functional areas within the firm.
  • Compliance-first solutions that aim to enforce policies that govern the conduct of employees and to abide by industry regulations (for example, an ability to archive all text exchanges).
  • Advisor-client engagement solutions that focus on the firm’s business needs, particularly client loyalty and satisfaction at the advisor level.

Which is best for your firm, both in the immediate and long-term future? We’ve established seven key criteria to help you determine which solution type makes the most sense. In numerous requirements conversations, these criteria continue to emerge from owners of the texting program and their business needs, as well as from IT stakeholders and their technology needs.

The 7 Evaluation Criteria for Advisor-Client Texting

  • Platform Stability Value: How does the platform perform against factors like uptime and adherence to service level agreements (SLAs)? Does it have the ability to provide national mobile coverage that is carrier-agnostic?
  • Time to Market: How much time is needed to implement the solution? Can it integrate with existing systems, and how long will that take?
  • Ongoing Costs: What are the costs associated with this solution, including maintenance and operations?
  • Change Management: Can this technology be managed within an existing mobile policy for advisors? How much change management support will be needed for advisors use the platform?
  • Legal/Compliance Value and Cybersecurity Risk: Does the technology contain the features needed to meet specific regulatory requirements? Can it evolve with regulatory changes? Will the addition of new technologies, vendors and/or use cases increase or decrease the firm’s security position?
  • Extensibility: How extensible is the solution? Can it plug into emerging channels, such as WeChat, WhatsApp, etc., in the future?
  • Breadth of Feature Set: Does this solution solve for as many IT feature requests across as many use cases and internal departments as possible?

To find out how the three types of solutions stack against these seven criteria, download our free Technology Landscape: 3 Approaches to Advisor-Client Texting Solutions for Financial Services report.
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Why Aren’t There More Female Financial Advisors, and How Can You Improve Gender Diversity at Your Firm? (Part 1)

This is part one of a two-part series on gender inclusion in the financial services industry
Diversity and inclusion are hot topics throughout the business world, but the stark lack of either topic is particularly noticeable in the financial services industry. With all the changes happening in the industry, including evolving client demands and expectations, there are more opportunities than ever for women financial advisors to rise in the ranks and level the playing field. Why isn’t this happening?
A recent InvestmentNews study called Women in Advice: Inspiring the Next Generation of Financial Advisors surveyed 612 financial advisors (208 women and 404 men) from across different advisory channels to answer this question. From their research, five common problems seemed to emerge.
We’ll explore the first two problems in part one of this series, with prescriptive action items that advisors and firms can follow to address each problem. In part two later this week, we’ll follow up with the final three problems as well as overall steps that advisors and firm management can take to create a more inclusive workplace.

1. Stalled Professional Progress

While the gender split among junior advisors suggests that the future will be female within the industry, this is not currently the trend, due in part to the high turnover among all entry-level positions. According to InvestmentNews, support advisors saw the highest turnover rate, with 37 percent of firms seeing at least one such advisor leave in the past year. When coupled with the fact that 65 percent of newly hired entry-level support advisors were men, we see that the attrition rate among women in the industry is currently too high to make up for the loss.
Women financial advisors also are not advancing at the same promotional pace as their male colleagues. While women are being promoted at a higher percentage than men at most phases of their career, there is one exception that lies at their five- to-nine-year career stage. InvestmentNews found that men are being promoted at a 16.5 percent rate over women, who were promoted at a 10.3 percent rate. In many cases, the promotion that occurs at the nine-year mark is the most crucial – one that takes them to the top rung of lead advisor.

There could be a few explanations for this discrepancy. Women with a bachelor’s or master’s degree tend to have their first child at the median age of 28 to 30. As advisors tend to start their careers right after graduating from college, the timing fits. The women surveyed pointed to the fact that at this stage, they are looking for networking and mentorship opportunities that seem to be available to men, but are out of reach to them.
Action Item: Create a work environment that is more supportive of women
The effort to create a more supportive work environment for women does not mean it will become a more toxic environment for men. In fact, creating an environment that is more supportive of women will grant benefits toward other genders as well.
Firms must foster an open, transparent, and supportive work environment. In meetings, do men tend to talk over women? Do your female employees feel heard and appreciated by their male colleagues? Are there other microaggressions that are occurring under the radar that you might not be aware of?
At that crucial nine-year mark, do you see your female employees reach for a lead advisor role only to fall short for some unknown reason? Encourage managers to reach out to them at this point in time and ask if there are any resources your company can provide in order to ensure their success.
Simply hiring more women won’t solve the problem. After the recruiting process ends, women need to work in an inclusive environment that will support their voices and contributions in the long term.

2. Work-life Balance

In the InvestmentNews study, personal balance between career and family was chosen by 20 percent of all female respondents as one of the main barriers to professional advancement. This is a logical obstacle since the beginnings of building a family tend to coincide with the most crucial point in a female advisor’s career. If there isn’t any support available, firms risk letting their female employees fall behind.
Action Item: Prioritize work-life balance and flexibility to support not only women, but competitive top talent
The InvestmentNews data shows that women tend to value flexibility more than men do. They want flexible work arrangements, help after returning from an extended leave, and transparent compensation practices. Since flexibility is one of the top reasons that people pursue a career in financial advisory in the first place, being more flexible will ultimately contribute to an overall improved working environment for all employees, not just women.
In order to attract the next generation of young women to your organization, strive to compete for talent with other businesses and industries and create a culture that respects work-life balance.
Stay tuned for part two of this series analyzing InvestmentNews’ study of gender diversity in the industry and what firms can do to solve it.
Are you a current Hearsay customer? If so, join our “Recruiting the Hearsay Way” webinar on January 23, 8am PST/11am EST. Learn from our very own Customer Education team about how you can use social media to improve your recruiting efforts and build out a winning advisory team.
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Meet the Hearsay Team: 2018 Resolutions

Whether you believe in a specific new year’s resolution or not, people tend to set some sort of goal for themselves at some point in the year. I asked my team what they wanted to accomplish over the next year and found out some awesome things about them. We also revisited last year’s resolutions and it was so fun to see all that had been accomplished.
Check out the Hearsay crew’s goals for 2018 and, on behalf of the entire gang, happy new year!

“Travel more – to hit my goal of 50 countries before I turn 30. On the list for 2018: Russia, Ghana, Czech Republic, Georgia (the country), Japan and Uruguay (Azerbaijan if I have time)!” – Clayton Goggil / Customer Success

…….

“Drink more water. Eat more greens. Spend less time in front of screen when kids are around. Be thankful more.” – Anita Moorthy / Marketing

…….

“I’d like to read 18 books in 2018.” – Maddy Barry / Human Resources

…….

“Replacing ‘sorry’ with ‘thank you.’ Clear communication that focuses on my actions and the actions of others and empowers all of us.” – Liberty Slater / Customer Success

…….

“I’d like to run/exercise at least three days a week.” – Chris Mills / Marketing

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“I’m going to hit up gyms regularly, write or speak to share knowledge more, and learn investing.” – Yingying Zhang / Product

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“Go meatless three days per week. They don’t know it yet, but I’m also making my family do it, too, so I guess it’s a family new year’s resolution.” – Tanya Smallwood / Sales

…….

“I was a stoked sneakerhead in 2017. In 2018, I will unsubscribe from all sneaker updates and break the habit of viewing kicks online to stop myself from craving a new pair. On a more serious note, I will spend less time playing video games and go back to reading more books. I will also see to it that I get to run at least twice a week.” – Janus Rosario / Customer Success, Philippines

…….

“My new year’s resolution is to run a 5k or 10k once a quarter!” – Mallory Adiego / Customer Success

…….

“Cross another continent off my travel bucket list. Four down, three to go …” – Allison Pagni / Sales

…….

mark

“My resolution is to see five sunrises a week on average for the whole year!” – Mark Gilbert / Product

…….

“I’ve been terrible about prioritizing my physical health since becoming a mom. In 2018, I want to be more committed to a balanced, healthy lifestyle. I figure I can at least start by taking advantage of the Hearsay perks and attending at least one fitness class a week!” – Elyse Hackney / Customer Success

…….

“To hand-write one letter to someone every month.” – Christina Malley / Marketing

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“I want to start my first cookbook!” – Sophie Keovongsa / Customer Success, UK

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“Investing in and taking the time to develop my strengths.” – Hang Zhang / Customer Success

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“Be in the moment more.” – Bill Rusitzky / Business Development

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“My new year’s resolution (one of them) is to take up playing my mandolin again and to be able to play a song (even if it’s short) by the end of 2018.” – Meli Romero / Customer Success

…….

“I’d like to improve my weakest writing skill, which is fiction writing! I also hope to improve my art skills and speed enough to produce at least a short comic by the end of 2018.” – Linh Le / Customer Success

…….

“I would like to strengthen my legs and core so I can slam dunk like I used to in my early 20s.” – Salman Mohiuddin / Sales, Canada

…….

“Less screen time. More adventures, reading and tennis.” – Jen Leopold / Customer Success

…….

“Walk more.” – Luca Warsaw / Customer Success, UK

…….

brittany

“Write in my journal on good days, not only on bad ones. :)” – Brittany Hedin / Customer Success

Interested in being part of the Hearsay team? Check out our career openings around the world.
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