With a new booklet, Delaware Group has stepped up its campaign to help financial advisers at banks target women.
The 67-year-old mutual fund company's 22-page publication "Seven Women Talk About Investing" will be handed out at the "Wealthbuilding for Women" seminars that Delaware sponsors. The bank brokers and financial advisers who sell its funds are hosts of the seminars.
"We wanted to highlight the importance of getting investment advice versus reading Money magazine," said Joanne A. Mettenheimer, a Delaware vice president and director of its financial institutions division.
Philadelphia-based Delaware, which manages some $30 billion in client assets, sells its 27 mutual funds through a variety of channels, including 100 banks. It is a unit of Lincoln National Corp., a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based insurance company.
To develop its booklet, Delaware looked to Wechsler & Partners Inc., a New York based consulting firm that specializes in creating marketing literature for financial services firms. Other Wechsler clients include First Chicago NBD Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co.
The booklet is intended to augment the seminars, which Delaware it has been running for two years, Ms. Mettenheimer said.
By focusing on the financial experiences of seven women of different backgrounds - all of whom have invested in Delaware funds - the booklet is intended to "create a sense of urgency" in the reader, she added. Delaware hopes that sense of urgency will impel the reader to work with a financial adviser who will recommend Delaware's funds.
Delaware is not alone in its efforts to appeal to women.
Another mutual fund company, Oppenheimer Management Corp., has a long- running strategy to market to women under chief executive Bridget A. Macaskill. Also, Kathleen Brown of BankAmerica Corp. is setting up a women's banking initiative for wealthy investors within BankAmerica's private banking division.
Other banks, including Union Bank in San Francisco and Hagerstown Trust in Maryland, have been running investment seminars designed for women. To be successful for their sponsors, these seminars must be closely linked to a brand identity, experts say.
"You are creating a demand for advice in general," said Charles B. Wendel, president of Financial Institutions Consulting in New York. "Then you have to transfer that into a demand for you,"
Mr. Wendel, who advises banks and investment firms on marketing to the wealthy, said that so-called focus-marketing can be very successful if promotional literature elicits an affinity among readers.
"The pitch is: 'Not only can we invest your funds, but we're also sympathetic,'" he said.