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Atlantic Trust launches women’s CIRCLE programme

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Atlantic Trust, the US private wealth management division of CIBC, has launched CIRCLE (Centered on Investments, Relationships, Community, Legacy and Enterprise), a financial literacy programme for women.

Through a combination of special events, educational content and other resources, CIRCLE aims to equip women of all ages with a foundation of financial knowledge that they can use to care for themselves and their families' financial legacies.

"Women are a key component of any client-family relationship, and we want to be sure that we are speaking to them directly," says Linda S Beerman, chief fiduciary officer and head of the Wealth Strategies Group for Atlantic Trust. "Our Women's CIRCLE focuses on the ways that women perceive, understand and relate to investments and wealth.

We know, for example, that women often feel very comfortable in a multi-generation 'sharing' setting, in which daughters and mothers can not only learn together, but also learn from each other, especially about how wealth informs the family's legacy planning."

Even women who already have good familiarity with investing, wealth management, risk and the markets can make sure they are modelling good behaviour for their daughters and granddaughters by ensuring that they're exposed to the financial knowledge they need, she says.

Research has shown that discussions around wealth and family legacy are more important to women than ever. The American College of Financial Services found that approximately 45 percent of American millionaires are women, and approximately USD25 trillion will pass to women through inheritance and from spouses by 2030.

However, many women still report a lack of comfort and confidence when it comes to investing, according to Beerman, who was recently named one of America's "50 Most Influential Women in Private Wealth”, by Private Asset Management (PAM) magazine.

To address that confidence gap, events for CIRCLE have been designed to be interactive and experiential. Key topics of discussion will include investing, risk, legacy planning and philanthropy—subjects chosen specifically because of their interest to women, their relevance to wealth management and their ability to provide a context for financial learning.

"We want all of our clients, especially women, and their children and grandchildren to feel confident about all of the various wealth management topics so they can make informed decisions throughout their lives," says Beerman. "Our CIRCLE programs and resources are designed to help with that."

Events have already been held in Chicago, Boston, New York and Atlanta, with more being scheduled through the rest of 2015 and beyond.

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