According to the latest data, the UK is home to over 50,000 high-net worth (HNW) women (GlobalData Plc., Wealth in the UK: HNW Investors 2018). Women represent 14.6% of the total HNW population in the country, proportionatly higher than any other country in Europe. A confluence of social, demographic, economic, and technological trends have empowered women across the region.
Yet it seems the traditional wealth management industry is failing next-gen female business leaders and successful female entrepreneurs. 73% of women who employed the services of a wealth manager in the UK said they felt misunderstood ( “Harnessing the Power of the Purse: Female Investors and Global Opportunities for Growth,” Center for Talent Innovation, 1 December 2016). They used the words “unwelcoming,” “patronizing,” “male-dominated” and “full of jargon” to describe the industry as a whole.
Accenture Consulting (2017) finds that most women have a different investment style and a different set of needs from the advisors they work with. Women demand a higher degree of communication and a broader approach to setting long-term financial goals. They are also more likely than men to be conservative investors.
Women are likely to keep generating wealth at an accelerated pace for the foreseeable future. Their growing financial strength represents an opportunity for the wealth management industry. Increasing diversity at the firm could be one way to better serve this expanding pool of potential clients.
According to the latest industry statistics (James Connington, The Telegrapgh, 9 AUGUST 2017), women manage less than 6% of the total money in funds. In the UK, there are 10 male advisors for every single female financial advisor (Money Marketing, 28th June 2016). Hiring and training more female wealth advisors could prove to be a competitive advantage. Meanwhile, reinventing the organisation’s culture to be less male-dominated and more client-centric is a winning strategy regardless of the industry.
The value of investments and income from them may go down as well as up and you may not get back the original amount invested.