What’s in a name? Nine out of ten choose a male name for financial advisers

Three people in a meeting room, one of them is standing at a whiteboard
  • Meanwhile, less than half say they assume most financial advisers are men
  • And more women (44%) than men (40%) assume this
  • People with advisers assume this most (51%) but their choice of name reflects market reality most closely

New research from Aviva1 has revealed that most consumers automatically assume most financial advisers are men – but are in denial about it!

Advised customers were asked to reveal their adviser’s first name, which revealed that 19% have a female adviser (names which could be either male or female, such as Alex or Chris, were excluded). This is broadly in line with recent market stats from the FCA, saying 16% of advisers are female.

However, when non-advised consumers were asked what they thought a financial adviser is likely to be called, 94% of men, and 92% of women gave a male name.  When asked whether they assumed most advisers are men, however, less than half this number (40%) agreed that they do, with 21% saying this isn’t the case.

In addition, more women than men assume most financial advisers are men (44% vs 40%), although more women than men also disagreed that they assume this (23% vs 19%).

Sam Mirehouse, MD Aviva Financial Advice, comments:  “Although this is a light-hearted take on people’s perceptions of advisers and the advice market, the results do show us that there’s still an unconscious bias at work when thinking about the ‘typical’ adviser. There’s a big difference between 40% of people saying they do assume most advisers are men, and 94% giving a male name, when asked what they think this might be.

“It’s probably true that Financial Advice is not the only profession that suffers from stereotypical perceptions, but it’s a reminder that there’s still a lot that we in this profession can do to increase diversity overall and not just in gender,  making it accessible for more people. We’ve consciously striven for a gender split in Aviva Financial Advice which is more even than the market, and currently 45% of our advisers are women. Maintaining the balance will remain an area of focus for us.”

So what are advisers really called?

Analysis of Aviva’s data2 shows the Top 10 names, in order, are:

David, Paul, James, Mark, Andrew, John, Richard, Michael, Matthew, Simon



1 Research carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Aviva 9th – 13th February 2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

2 Aviva internal data based on 52,000 contacts with ‘adviser type’ roles, November 2022


Catherine Comben

UK Insurance Media Relations

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