With an increasing number of wealthy women there’s a need for more women to manage it, according to several financial publications.
Women control about $14 trillion in the United States, the equivalent of the combined gross domestic product of China and India, Fortune magazine reported in April.
Firms need to listen to what women want and greater diversity among their advisers and managers, Shelley O’Connor, co-head of wealth management at Morgan Stanley, told the publication.
“The success of wealth management in the years ahead depends on making sure we all look like the clients and communities we serve,” O’Connor said.
Due to the shift of high-net-worth women, it’s expected that women could control $72 trillion of global wealth next year, according to Finextra. That would make up 32 percent of all wealth globally and it would be an increase from $51 trillion in 2015, according to a report from RBC Wealth Management.
The Finextra report stated: “Thus, a large percentage of new wealth management clients will be female, yet many firms are unprepared for them Consequently, firms need to hire more female wealth managers. Firms need more women because some clients will walk out if they see no females in the office.
“Moreover, younger women will be more likely to leave if they see an older man telling them how to manage their money. Thus, wealth managers need to examine their hiring practices and hire more women.”
Women financial advisers make up 15 to 20 percent of all advisors, according to a report from Barron’s magazine. But there’s opportunity for more women to enter the field.
“There are vast amounts of opportunities because advisors are aging out, and there’s a huge void for women that needs to be filled,” said Kyla Spence, a junior at Bucknell University, told Barron’s.
Additionally, the wealth management industry’s ecosystem has undergone changes that could allow women to thrive in, according to Barron’s report.
The industry is moving away from the “macho, eat-what-you-kill business” where brokers worked the phones to rack up sales commissions and is being replaced by a financial planning-based relationship.
“There are fewer conversations taking place about beating the market; more are about identifying goals that give life meaning,” the report stated.
“Women have a different skill set-empathy and intuitiveness, listening, and maybe being a little bit more emotional to see into what people need,” said Brittain Prigge, president of Atlanta-based advisory firm Balentine, in the Barron’s report. “That’s so hugely important to this business.”
The industry is now focused on recruiting more women into the field at the collegiate level, according to the various reports.
“The gender of wealth in our country has fundamentally changed, and the complexion of wealth in our country is going to continue to change. It is only going to accelerate,” Jen Auerbach, head of strategic growth markets at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, told Fortune.