Sandy Cove Advisors is a small boutique wealth advisory firm in Hingham founded and run by women; six of the eight staffers are female. It was founded in 2010 by Deirdre Prescott, president, and Courtney Heald, principal and director of client service. We spoke with Prescott for this story.
Q. What is a boutique firm?
A. I define it like this: I go into a store in Cohasset where I live and they know me, they can show me clothes they know I will like, unlike big department stores. We have that familiar, approachable type environment here; there are couches and living room chairs where we talk with clients; it has a homey, relaxed feel. We designed it that way, with softer colors for example, so people won’t feel intimidated the way they might in huge firms.
Q. You work with many couples on family planning, but also many women coming in alone?
A. We have a lot of female financial executives and single women – divorced or widowed. They can be vulnerable, and some may have an attachment to staying in their house, for example. So we guide them through it, advising them to stay until their kids graduate, and then downsize. It’s all very individualized and personal. We work hard to build up a trust so they can speak frankly about their finances.
Q. Is this industry still predominantly male-dominated?
A. Yes, I’d say about 75 percent, and it’s changing, but not enough, not yet. It’s a great profession for women; I was fortunate at [investment company BNY] Mellon to work three days a week in the office because cellphones changed everything. Private wealth clients don’t care where you are, they just want to be able to reach you. This is a great business for women. It’s a shame not more women are able to see it through.
Q. Is it particularly satisfying to help women?
A. Yes, especially women who are divorced or widowed; they never think brighter days are ahead. But one of our clients is an artist who was in horrible marriage. Now she’s focused on her art and it’s on fire; she’ll probably do a half-million dollars this year. We helped her set up the structure for her business and guiding her in retirement planning. We see a lot of that, and it’s a beautiful thing to see them getting to believe in themselves.
Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at email@example.com.