Harnessing the Power of the Purse

Sunday 13th July 2014

GBA Newsletter

Harnessing the Power of the PurseA new study from the Center for Talent Innovation explores the vast growth potential of women earners and investors worldwide, and how they’re served — or underserved — by financial institutions. The report, “Harnessing the Power of the Purse: Female Investors and Global Opportunities for Growth,” holds that the amount of wealth controlled by women around the world is upward of $20 trillion and poised to grow exponentially, with the opportunity it represents set to expand along with it as financial institutions learn how to reach out to the female market.

Research on women in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India reveals that 66 percent of females identify themselves as the primary decision makers over household assets. However, a majority of those women indicate that they do not work with a financial adviser.

Harnessing the Power of the Purse

According to CTI, closing this gap will require the correction of several misperceptions within the financial industry, chief among which is that there is no difference between women and men when it comes to financial decision making and that if there is, the female market is homogeneous. Ultimately, women differ not only from men, but from one another in a number of important ways that impact financial decision making. Factors like geography, generation, wealth source and asset level all play a role in how women perceive wealth and make decisions about how it should be allocated.

Select key findings from the report include:

  • All investors want good returns, but women also seek to make decisions that they see as good for society at large: 90 percent of women in the CTI survey said they prefer to invest in organizations that promote social well-being.
  • Seventy-seven percent of women polled reported that they consider diversity in senior leadership as a factor when choosing an organization to invest in.
  • Fifty-eight percent of female wealth creators and 48 percent of inheritors say their household assets are increasing.
  • Of the women who do work with a financial adviser, 67 percent said they feel their adviser does not understand them.

The study also takes a look at initiatives several major financial firms are undertaking to better comprehend the nuanced, segmented nature of the market of female wealth creators and investors. By learning what women want from a wealth adviser and which behaviors are likeliest to drive successful relationships, these institutions are increasing their ability to tap into this ever-growing market.