Over 82% of women from high net worth families are set to inherit substantial wealth over the next 20 years but 41% are currently not involved in family decisions around investments, according to the new report from Barclays Private Bank.
The report said that whilst a cultural shift has been recognised in the financial services industry, 59% of high net worth women still often feel they are treated differently to men. Women felt less understood by their financial advisers. Fewer women felt their knowledge of investing is understood by their adviser (75%) than men (86%).
Four in ten women said they are not involved in the management of the family wealth compared to only one in ten men. Even those women who are involved tend not to be the main decision maker. According to the report, the main decision-makers in high net worth families tend to be the fathers and sons with 83% of key financial decision makers in these families being male, compared to only 11% being female.
Women without involvement in the management of their family wealth had significantly less interest in finance and investments (17%), compared to those who are involved (39%) – potentially leaving their priorities and perspectives ignored.
The bank said we stand on the edge of the biggest wealth transfer in history, where over the next decade and estimated $15trn of wealth is set to pass down to the next generation.
It said women are increasing their wealth faster than ever before, but biases that persist with some high net worth families mean women tend to have less involvement in the family finances.
According to the report: “The wealth management industry remains heavily male orientated and this creates subtle biases towards HNW women who seek financial advice, often leaving many feeling unheard. In turn, this leads to fewer women seeking professional advice for their own wealth. Changes are needed within financial services to better support the growing number of HNW women across the globe, as they inherit ever greater wealth and responsibility.”
For its report, Barclays interviewed over 400 global high net worth families about issues and concerns surrounding succession planning.