The financial advice space needs to act quickly, as 60% of the UK’s wealth will be in the hands of women by 2025, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
But female investors are not engaging with the finance industry as actively as men.
This is where wealth management firms could make a difference.
Tamara Gillan, co-founder of the WealthiHer Network, told International Adviser that women have a “lack of financial confidence borne out of a lack of knowledge”.
“Woman are also more risk aware, which is different to being risk adverse,” she added. “They are more considered when it comes to investing, they want more information and more detail on the outcomes.
“Currently, women’s propensity to make investments is around 40% less than men. This needs to change.”
Gillan’s WealthiHer Network is an organisation founded to make the financial industry more female-focused.
Its ambition “is to drive the economic empowerment of women”.
“The network is an essential force for change, championing the transformation of the industry’s approach to women,” she added. “Helping women be more understood, accepted and catered for; and, in doing so, supporting women to reach their potential and prosper
“Our aim for five years’ time is that we will have created a finance industry fit for the future.”
The WealthiHer Network has brought together a lot of big industry players to collaborate to “engender change”.
This includes Barclays Private Bank, Brewin Dolphin, Brown Advisory, Chubb, Close Brothers Asset Management, HSBC Private Banking, JP Morgan, Julius Baer, Kleinwort Hambros, Reddings Wealth Management, Rothschilds & Co and Irwin Mitchell.
The network found over 70% of women believe that men and women have different needs when it comes to finance, and “yet the industry does not differentiate in its interactions”.
So, how is it looking to change the status quo?
“We are conducting the largest ever conversation with women about money, it began with our 2019 research and has continued through the year with events and talks all designed to better understand women, in order that the industry can meet their needs,” said Gillan.
“Our research has provided the insight for the WealthiHer Network partners to develop and improve their interactions with female clients, deepening engagement and support.
“A key strategy borne out of the research is to build confidence and provide education, which the network is doing through an extensive event series.”
The campaign does not have borders.
It has ambitions outside of the UK, as women now account for 40% of global wealth, according to the World Bank’s Labour Force Gender Ratio report.
The WealthiHer Network plans to launch in Hong Kong and Singapore in 2020.
According to the network’s research, women in Asia are as engaged as men in finance overall but:
- 49% of women in Asia lack confidence in financial matters;
- 68% of women in Hong Kong are likely to be denied funding;
- 80% of women in Singapore are concerned about gender bias in the finance industry; and
- Asian women are 33% less likely to be the sole decision maker on investment products than Asian men
“There are huge cultural and businesses differences with 30% of senior management positions in Hong Kong and Singapore held by women, and 14% of all new billionaires in Asia being women,” said Gillan.
“Yet, these figures make it even more imperative that the financial industry in the region, listens to and responds to women.”
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, International Adviser spoke with women across the financial advice and wealth management industry to understand their experiences and what needs to be done to support an ever-changing, diverse workforce.