Women, Money and Realizing Financial Goals: How Financial Institutions Can Better Serve Their Female Clients

by Ashley Globerman,  Colleen Risk, June 14, 2016
Industry Trends
North America

Abstract

Despite controlling a significant portion of the world's wealth, females are an overlooked segment of the market. 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, insurers should increase their understanding of and investment in this particular section of the market.

Despite their rising workforce participation and escalating income, it appears that American women still have major gaps and unmet needs when it comes to achieving comfort and confidence with money. Whether by circumstance or by choice, women are finding themselves in roles where they must be responsible for long-term financial needs and security.

Female financial services clients are a substantial and overlooked segment of the market despite controlling a significant portion of the world’s wealth. 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 financial services industry.

As insurance professionals endeavor to better understand and better respond to the financial needs of women, the relationship between advisors and their female clients has improved, but there is more progress to be made in meeting women’s financial goals and needs. 

“The proliferation of women into the HNW and UHNW client profile, including the significant wave of next-gen millennial clients, presents an exciting yet complex landscape for insurers and financial advisors,” says Colleen Risk, a senior analyst in Celent’s Insurance practice and coauthor of the report, “Women are no longer a niche market as they take a more active role in managing their finances and aggressively pursue their financial goals.”

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

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1

 

Key Research Questions

1

Introduction

2

 

Key Research Questions

2

Understanding the Market

4

 

Generations

4

 

Demographics

4

 

Women

6

Female Clients: No Longer a Niche Market

8

 

Education and Workforce

8

 

Income

10

 

Life Expectancy

13

Female Clients: Realizing Financial Goals

14

 

The Importance of Client Segmentation

14

 

Shift in Client Demographics

14

 

Women and Life Insurance

16

Female Clients: Looking for Answers

17

 

Digital Channels

17

Final Thoughts

20

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

21

 

Support for Financial Institutions

21

 

Support for Vendors

21

Related Celent Research

22

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