Advising Female Clients: No Longer a Niche Market

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13 September 2015


Despite controlling a significant portion of the world’s wealth, female wealth management clients are an overlooked segment of the market. High net worth (HNW) and ultra-high net worth (UHNW) women have frequently cited their dissatisfaction with the services they receive from advisors and the wealth management industry.

There are a growing number of HNW and UHNW women in the US, and Celent expects this number to rise, particularly as female education rates continue to improve, the wage gap between men and women lessens, women’s participation in the labor force increases, and baby boomers transfer their wealth to their children (particularly important as women statistically outlive men). Women are contributing to at least half of their family’s income and, as such, they are progressively becoming the sole or joint decision-makers of their household financial decisions.

“This shift in demographics of HNW and UHNW clients, including the significant wave of next-gen millennial clients, presents an exciting yet complex landscape for financial advisors and the wealth management industry,” says Ashley Globerman, an analyst with Celent’s Wealth Management practice and author of the report. “While the relationship between financial advisors and their female clients has improved, there is more progress to be made.”

Given the size and diversity of female clients across generational cohorts in terms of behavioral characteristics, financial goals, technological aptitude, and product and service needs, wealth managers should increase their understanding of and investment in this particular section of the market. This includes thoughtful client segmentation, marketing efforts, and application of technology.

This report segments the market by generations, explores this unique advisor-client relationship, and describes how wealth managers can adjust their advisory models by using today's technology to better serve this segment of the market.