Wall Street needs women, younger clients to compete: Krawcheck

Mon Nov 7, 2011 12:18pm EST
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By Suzanne Barlyn and Ashley Lau

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street must raise its appeal to the next generation of investors and female professionals to remain competitive in the wealth management industry, the former head of Bank of America's wealth management unit said on Monday.

The securities industry "doesn't do a great job for women or being appropriate" for the next generation, said Sallie Krawcheck, who was ousted as head of Bank of America's global wealth and investment management unit in September.

"We talk about stock market returns. We're not talking as an industry about protecting the downside," said Krawcheck, speaking at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association annual meeting in New York.

More conversations need to focus on planning and asset allocation, she said.

Indeed, becoming more relevant to a younger generation of prospective clients and building more diverse teams of advisers are among the changes Wall Street will have to make to compete in the future, Krawcheck said during an interview at the conference with PBS host Charlie Rose.

Younger prospective clients have become skeptical of the industry through press images of advisers being untrustworthy and repeated messages to avoid the markets, she said.

"They typically think that these organizations don't add value," she said.

The average wealth management client is about 63 years old, said Krawcheck, higher than the mid-50s average age of clients when Krawcheck started in the field during the 1990s.   Continued...

<p>A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange August 19, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>