Industry Voice: Are women key to your future business?

Gillian Hepburn
clock • 5 min read
Industry Voice: Are women key to your future business?

Over the past three years I've spent time with financial advisers discussing their wealth transfer strategies and how these impact their businesses. What has become apparent is that perhaps instead of wealth transfer we should refer to wealth retention, because in addition to helping families to understand how wealth will move across the generations, the challenge can be retaining that wealth within an adviser business.

Without family engagement and a connection to the next generation, advisers might find that they are managing a dying business. According to research, while 76% of those inheriting wealth indicate that they want to speak to an adviser when they inherit,  65% of inheritors will move from their parent's adviser at the point of transfer.[1]

If this depletion of assets from a business takes place at the point when an adviser is trying to maximise the business value for a sale, then it's not a great situation. Even if we don't own the business we all want to work for thriving and not dying businesses and protect the income stream.

However, many commentators including myself may have missed a vital point - the influence of women!

Consider the following:

  • Two thirds of baby boomer wealth is in joint households
  • The first point of transfer in the baby boomer generation is typically from a husband to their wife
  • 70% of baby boomer widows will leave their partner's adviser within a year of their death[2]

Maybe we have an issue and why is this happening?

In order to explore this further, at Schroders we engaged Dr Eliza Filby, a historian of generations who advises on demographics and societal change, to undertake some research. She interviewed a representative mix of high net-worth women: widows, singletons, divorced, married and remarried. They talked about their attitudes towards money and investment and shared their stories and experiences with financial advisers. Eliza also spoke to financial advisers to get their views.

Our full report on female clients and the transfer of wealth can be downloaded here but Eliza's key points were as follows:

1.  Understand these women

  • 80% of women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives[3]
  • Women live longer, earn less and move in and out of employment more
  • They are society's carers: many support ‘30 something' children, grandchildren and husbands
  • Many women are working beyond retirement age. The ONS expects the UK over-65 workforce to grow by 20% in the decade to 2024, women over the age of 50 are responsible for 42% of that growth.

2. Smash the stereotypes - understand these women!

  • Property is perceived as a low risk investment option; 50% of landlords are now female - but bankruptcy in women has increased by 88% in the last decade[4]
  • Whilst potentially risk averse, advisers identified that ‘female maverick investors' are on the rise
  • Female boomers married young but were the first generation where divorce was easier, hence the rise in blended families
  • Dual income households are in the majority in the UK but joint bank accounts are on the decline
  • Widowhood can present newly found confidence -77% of widows reported discovering courage they never knew they had[5]

3. Their financial plans

  • Women are more likely to pass on wealth in their lifetime than men
  • ‘Granpreneurs' are out there - there has been a 67% rise in females over the age of 55 opening business accounts and a 132% rise in those aged over 65[6]
  • Social care - women outnumber men in care by 3 to 1
  • They don't want to feel an ‘appendage' to their husband and want tailored education
  • Women want to know more about ESG and investing sustainably
  • They want to use their money to help children and grandchildren, to travel and pay for help (cleaners, gardeners etc)
  • Communication is important to them - some find the scene setting, content and tone adopted by financial advisers as alienating whilst others see the financial adviser as a ‘family friend'

4. Suggested action plan

  • Get to know women's stories
  • Bring spouses into the conversation from the outset
  • Get to know their support infrastructure
  • Provide a structured financial education programme
  • Practise emotional empathy
  • Understand the level and type of communication required
  • Engage more female advisers

Building strong relationships with both partners in a couple through understanding their individual needs and matching them to a tailored service offering gives you the best chance of keeping assets within your business when they transfer from one partner to the other.

Click here to download a copy of ‘Female clients and the transfer of wealth' report.

 

To find out how Schroders can support you, contact your usual Schroders' representative or call our Business Development Desk on 0207 658 3894.

 

Important information

Marketing material for professional clients only.

The material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, accounting, legal or tax advice, or investment recommendations. This information is a marketing communication. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of investments to fall as well as rise.

The views and opinions contained herein are those of the individuals to whom they are attributed and may not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Schroders communications, strategies or funds. Insofar as liability under relevant laws cannot be excluded, no Schroders entity accepts any liability for any error or omission in this material or for any resulting loss or damage (whether direct, indirect, consequential or otherwise).

Issued in October 2021 by Schroder Investment Management Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU. Registration No. 1893220 England. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. UK003497.



[1] Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), 2020.

[2] Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), 2020.

[3] Taking the reins: female clients and the transfer of wealth, Dr Eliza Filby, 2021

[4] Taking the reins: female clients and the transfer of wealth, Dr Eliza Filby, 2021

[5] Taking the reins: female clients and the transfer of wealth, Dr Eliza Filby, 2021

[6] Taking the reins: female clients and the transfer of wealth, Dr Eliza Filby, 2021

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