Women: the changing face of wealth

As women take over more of the world’s fortunes, the wealth management industry looks to attract and retain these relative newcomers.

Women are gradually increasing their shares of wealth, making their presence felt in the world of wealth management, explains Karen Ruphy, Head of Wealth Planning at Banque Havilland.

First for demographic reasons, women will be in first line benefiting from the great wealth transfer. Their earnings have increased as they become entrepreneurs, take executive roles, and fill top management positions. About one-third of the world’s fortunes are now held by women, a proportion that is certainly going to increase1.

How should the wealth management industry adapt to this shift?

Attracting and retaining female customers will be a critical growth imperative for the wealth management industry in general.
Even though wealth managers have been paying more attention to the women’s wealth segment in recent years with, specific services or department dedicated to women, the gender distinctions are often superficial or reflect outdated assumptions.

Too often, women are treated as a homogeneous group, ignoring their vastly different profile, needs and preferences. Most problematic are attitudes that reflect prevailing stereotypes, assuming that a woman’s wealth comes from her spouse or family and/ or they do not want to be engaged in financial decisions.

“Women tend to have a more holistic approach to wealth management. “


Those attitudes are changing, but too many women still feel underserved. This may result, as reported by a McKinsey study in 2020 to a dramaticall change of the wealth management industry landscapes as 70 percent of women switch their wealth relationship within a year following a spouse’s death.

This also shows that women are more than willing to look elsewhere if they do not have a satisfactory experience and it reflects the urge of tackling a genuine customer-centred approach.

A Investor Survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group in 2020 reveals that women’s investment priorities differ from men’s, but in ways that go beyond conventional assumption. Women tend to have a more comprehensive approach of wealth management focused on the long term picture and fact-based investment’s decision.

In Banque Havilland, we strongly believe into a holistic and highly personalized approach aligned with financial and personal goals of each individual. In practice, it means taking the time to enrich the quality of client conversations, adapt the dialogue towards the objectives to provide a comprehensive wealth management strategy regardless of gender.

1 From 2019 to 2023, Women’s wealth should grow by a CAGR of 7.2%. Source: BCG Global Wealth 2019 Market Sizing Database.

Karen Ruphy
Head of Wealth Planning at Banque Havilland S.A.

( source: Paperjam )