Financial firm for women

At the beginning of this year, North American Life Assurance opened the doors of a new company called FNA Financial to specifically address the financial needs and concerns of a neglected market comprising 52% of the Canadian population - women.North American...

At the beginning of this year, North American Life Assurance opened the doors of a new company called FNA Financial to specifically address the financial needs and concerns of a neglected market comprising 52% of the Canadian population – women.

North American Life set up a separate company because it discovered during focus group research that women respond differently to financial advisors and have different financial concerns than men.

To overcome concerns about fairness and impartiality and because women do not like pushy commissioned salespeople, FNA established its financial advisors on salary.

Research indicated that women want advisors to deal with their own individual financial goals and address their worries about being alone through divorce or widowhood, child care and care of elderly parents.

FNA covers these issues through seminars focussing on the financial aspects of marriage breakdowns.

In keeping with its targeted approach, FNA launched its first advertising campaign last month, a direct mail effort for RRSPs using StatsCan’s Taxfiler database.

The Taxfiler database is based on tax returns filed last year.

A postal code conversion is provided with the data that allows selection of postal walks of approximately 400 homes.

FNA marketing director Ben McLean says, ‘Paired with the 1990 Neighbourhood Income and Demographics Database, a very clear profile of each neighborhood emerges at postal walk level.’

FNA distributed its brochure to specific postal areas and neighborhoods in the greater metropolitan Toronto area through Metroland newspapers and Canada Post and followed up with calls to selected homes.

FNA’s first office in Richmond Hill, Ont., has 20 financial advisors and is the prototype for others that will soon be rolled out to other major centres such as Vancouver.

FNA advertising is handled in-house.