A ground-breaking new research report examining female wealth creation and how well women are catered to by advisory firms has been unveiled by ClearView Financial Media, publishers of WealthBriefing, in association with Boston Multi Family Office and Wealthmonitor (an Acuris company).

Winning Women: Key Insights for Wealth Firms Targeting Today’s Dynamic Female Clients highlights the great opportunity wealth advisory firms can tap into if they focus on the disconnect between women’s specific wants and needs, and the inadequacies in how they are currently being met.

The study is based both on wealth creation statistics from Wealthmonitor and on qualitative research carried out amongst leading commentators and participants in the wealth space. Members of the WealthBriefing Network were also surveyed in the course of the study.

The report was launched this week at ClearView’s flagship Family Wealth Forum held in London’s iconic Simpson’s in the Strand where its key findings and messages were presented by report author Wendy Spires and Group Business Development Director at Boston MFO, Katherine Ellis.

Among the detailed findings of this must-read report:

MOST SEE FEMALES RAPIDLY GAINING FURTHER FINANCIAL STRENGTH GLOBALLY: Over half (54%) of wealth managers think women’s economic power and financial independence is growing rapidly around the world, with 24% believing this strongly. Under a tenth of participants disagree with the idea that women’s economic power is increasing apace.

MEANWHILE, FEMALE CLIENTS’ WANTS AND NEEDS ARE NOT WELL CATERED TO, WITH FINANCIAL PLANNING PARTICULARLY NEGLECTED: A very large majority of 62% of wealth management professionals believe that the wealth industry does not cater well to the specific wants and needs of female clients. Only one in ten see women as very well served at present. The financial planning requirements of women are seen as particularly neglected, with almost two-thirds of respondents (63%) believing that the advisory industry is paying insufficient attention here. Female participants see these inadequacies as being very much more pronounced (78% versus 42% of men).

GENDER SEEN AS A SEGMENTATION “MUST” BY BOTH CLIENTS AND ADVISORS: Both wealth-holders and advisors believe a consciousness of gender is vital to understanding the wants and needs of clients. Overall, approaching two-thirds think this should be taken into account, while 34% see it as being of the utmost importance to an intelligent segmentation strategy. Strikingly however, seven in ten wealth-holders believe very strongly that gender should be a primary segmentation factor, against only 17% of advisors, signalling a significant disconnect between the industry and those it serves.

ADVISOR EDUCATION SHOULD BE A PRIORITY TO HELP WOMEN ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS AND OPTIMISE THEIR EXPERIENCE: Overall, a massive 82% of respondents advocate further training for advisors to help women achieve their goals and ensure they have the optimal client experience. Among wealth-holders themselves this proportion was higher still, at 90%.

BETTER REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN URGENTLY NEEDED IN THE WEALTH INDUSTRY: A very convincing 84% of participants agree or strongly agree that wealth managers need to have greater female representation in their workforces and leadership teams to better engage with wealthy women.

SRI AND IMPACT INVESTING SEEN AS HAVING PARTICULAR APPEAL FOR FEMALE INVESTORS: Socially Responsible Investing and impact investing hold particular appeal for female investors, with 70% believing this to be the case. Industry experts concur that women tend to define success in far broader terms and take a wider, longer-term view when deploying their capital, meaning that SRI and impact investing opportunities are a crucial differentiator for firms targeting female clients.

UK AND GERMANY LEAD THE WAY FOR FEMALE WEALTH CREATION: In 2015, the contribution of women’s wealth in Europe to the overall total was 14.3%, up 2.1% on the year before. The amount of female wealth created in Europe steadily increased throughout the years between 2012 and 2016. In 2012 women contributed just under £3.5bn, but this figure increased dramatically between 2014 and 2015 to reach a peak of £6.2bn of wealth created. Drilling down further, it is the Western European market that is showing the most impressive growth, with the UK and Germany the top European countries for female wealth creation.

WOMEN IMPACT THE MEDIA SECTOR, LAG IN FINANCIAL SERVICES: The sector showing the least discrepancy between the genders is Media, with the 2016 wealth creation split being 26.6%/73.4% female to male. At the other end of the spectrum, Financial Services is a sector where women have a lot of catching up to do, with 92.3% of wealth being created by men.  In terms of where most money is being created by women, Industrials & Chemicals represents the top sector, with a female wealth contribution of 25.1%, followed by the Consumer industry with 13.8% of the total. There is also a high proportion of female wealth being created in the Technology sector, where women have achieved 12.3% of the total.

Report author, Wendy Spires, Head of Research at WealthBriefing, said:

“Women’s wealth is one of the industry’s hottest topics. We are delighted to have been able to contribute to the dialogue in association with such prestigious research partners, and to have been able to canvas views from so many esteemed advisors, consultants and wealth creators in the production of this report. “

Report partner and lead contributor, Katherine Ellis, Group Business Development Director at Boston Multi Family Office said:

“Whilst every wealthy individual and family has their own unique story, gender is one of the most significant commonalities in the ultra-high net worth service sector. This report highlights how and why many financial service firms are failing female wealth creators and provides a guide to how these winning women can be better supported.”

Florian Pixner, Managing Director of Wealthmonitor, an Acuris company, said:

“Wealthmonitor is delighted to have been the data provider for the Winning Women: Key Insights for Wealth Firms Targeting Today’s Dynamic Female Clients report. We have seen the volume of wealth created by women steadily increase since 2012 and accordingly wealth managers targeting female wealth-creators need to pay close attention to fast-moving trends.”

Winning Women: Key Insights for Wealth Firms Targeting Today’s Dynamic Female Clients is available to download here: