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Good luck: Wealthy single women seeking female advisers

Areas of the country where wealthy single women are most likely to seek out financial advice do not match with the states that have the greatest number of female financial advisers, according to a new analysis. That’s significant because 70% of women say they’d like to work with an adviser who is a woman.

About 9 million women are single and have more than $100,000 in investible assets, and the number of them who will want to work with a financial adviser is expected to increase about 60% by 2015, according to Information Asset Partners, which studied metrics to quantify financial behaviors and measure women’s affinity for using an adviser. The extent of the affinity boom varies by state.

The amount of wealthy single women in Florida and Texas who are likely to seek out financial advisers is expected to rise 80% through 2015. New York is expected to see a 43% increase in advice demand from wealthy single women, while Nevada is projected to see a 170% increase, according IAP.

These women most likely will seek to work with a female adviser, given that a study last year by Pershing LLC found that 70% of women would like to work with a female adviser even though only about 20% of them do.

In fact, only about 20% of active registered representatives are women, and one in five of the nation’s registered investment advisory firms include at least one female adviser, according to Meridian-IQ data.

When the female advisory stats are crossed with the potential wealthy single-women data, Florida is the only large state ranked in the top 10 on both measures, according to the two data firms.

“When you look at where the women financial advisers are located within the broker dealers, wirehouses and RIAs across 50 states, it’s clear that the industry is not mirroring its clients,” said Cecile Munoz, president of U.S. Executive Search LLC, a recruiting firm.

State-level data on female advisers shows that the four states with the most female reps are Alaska, Wyoming, California and Kentucky, each with about a quarter of their reps being women. About 13% of the advisory firms in West Virginia have at least one female adviser, compared with 11.4% for New Mexico, 8.6% for Texas and 8% for North Dakota, Meridian-IQ found.