Women high net worth investors (HNW) are a stark minority

No matter where your advisory practice is in the world, you will find that most HNW individuals are male.

According to GlobalData’s WealthInsight, women represent only 11.4 percent of millionaires globally. Europe performs slightly better than the global average, with 12.2 percent of HNW clients being female.

However the countries with highest share of female millionaires are Hong Kong and Singapore. On the other hand, the UAE and Belgium are the worst performers, with only roughly five percent of HNW individuals being women.

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However, this is bound to change

Many governments are issuing new policies encouraging women participation in the business arena and helping them generate fortunes.

Belgium passed a law in 2011 calling for better balance and the UAE has a so-called gender balance programme.

By 2020 these policies are supposed to see their first results. Customising the service proposition to target this growing segment is a great opportunity for wealth managers to grow their assets under management.

Some providers are already putting into place new measures to target female clients.

As UBS expects global wealth of women to grow from $13tn to $18tn by 2021, the company has just launched a five-year business plan that puts attracting female HNW investors as a priority.

The robo-advisor industry is also targeting women, with Ellevest and WorthFM offering service specifically tailored for female investors.

Training relationship managers so that they better understand and meet the needs of their female client base is just one step advisory firms should take.

Another is tailoring investment products and services so that the behavioural differences between male and female investors are taken into account. Providers who will champion both are likely to be successful.