About the Women’s Choice Award® for Financial Advisors and Firms
The Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisor Program is the only recognition program that acknowledges well-qualified advisors who are committed to the women’s market and effectively serve women clients.
The Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors was created by WomenCertified Inc. in an effort to help women identify financial advisors and firms that provide quality service and strong commitment to their female clientele. Advisors who qualify for the Award are evaluated using 17 objective criteria. In addition, and to augment the evaluation process, the advisor is required to submit letters of validation from senior representatives at their respective firm or broker dealer.
17 Criteria Considered in Evaluating Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisor Candidates
Criteria 1-10 is required, while 11-17 is considered in determining qualification.
- Clientele are at least one-third women or male-female couples
- Accepting new clients
- Actively employed as a licensed or credentialed professional in financial services for a minimum of three years.
- Credentials include an IAR (Investment Advisory Representative), a FINRA-registered advisor/broker, an RIA (Registered Investment Advisor), a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) , CFP® (Certified Financial Planner), PFS (Personal Financial Specialist), or a licensed attorney practicing in financial services.
- Must be in compliance with regulatory requirements of the SEC, state securities regulators in states where they do business, and self-regulatory bodies.
- Must be in good standing with the standards of the firm with which they are affiliated.
- Must have a favorable regulatory and complaint history and who sign an affidavit to that effect.*
- Must not have been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in their license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine.
- Must not have been convicted of a felony.
- Must not have filed for personal bankruptcy in the past ten yearsIn addition, in determining whether an advisor has the tools and experience to serve women’s financial needs, the following criteria are also considered:
- Assets under management
- Number of clients (households) served by the advisor
- The advisor’s client retention rate over a three-year period
- How many firms the advisor has been associated with in the past ten years
- The advisor’s education and professional designations
- Educational programs and events provided for clients
- The advisor’s record of community service
This program has been featured in a variety of publications, including: