Women now control 32% of the world's wealth and that share is likely to grow significantly in the years ahead. (UBS)

The report, Managing the next decade of women's wealth , looks at the global ownership of private wealth by women and the different ways gender influences wealth management decisions. According to the research behind the report, women manage their wealth differently than men do. They tend to link their wealth goals to specific life stages and targets. This means women are more likely to anticipate and plan for key events and life stages, creating a significant growth opportunity for the wealth management industry.


Women’s investment priorities also differ from those of men. As Shona Baijal, Managing Director of UBS Wealth Management in the UK, says, “Generally speaking, women face five different challenges throughout their financial lives, compared to men: the gender pay gap, the need for flexible working conditions, maternity leave, longer life expectancy, and a lower risk tolerance.”


Tracey Woon, Vice Chairman of UBS Wealth Management for the Asia-Pacific region adds, “Women do not just want to boost the bottom line; they also want to help develop the communities we live in, by investing in education, health care, and our planet. ” The BCG survey the report is based on found that 64% of women say they factor environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns into their investment decisions. As women accrue greater wealth, such topics factor even more heavily in their thinking.


The report calls financial advisors to action: "By recognizing that the women's segment is not a marketing opportunity but a massive business opportunity – and by personalizing their approach to meet the specific needs and priorities of individual clients, regardless of gender – they can make the '20s a defining decade for women in wealth."


The emphasis placed by the report on the importance of addressing the unique financial needs women may have echoes insights from the 2018 UBS Own Your Worth report on women and wealth. The UBS report explored how women approach major financial decisions within their own households globally. In response to the BCG report, Carey Shuffman, Head of the Women's Strategic Client Segment at UBS in the US, states: "We are delighted by the findings of the BCG report that show women's financial influence continues to increase and the positive outcomes predicted in the next decade. This further demonstrates the importance of our Own Your Worth research and the need for women to actively participate in their long-term finances to shape the futures they wish to see for themselves and their loved ones."


Key trends from the report include:

  • Women now control 32% of the world's wealth and that share is likely to grow significantly in the years ahead.

  • Over the next four years, women will add $5 trillion to the wealth pool globally every year–faster than in years past.

  • Women are more likely than men to invest on the basis of their values, favoring funds that perform well but also create a positive impact.

  • Almost half of employed millennial women from 25 to 29 had a bachelor’s degree or more, versus 36% of Gen X women when they were the same age.


Read the full Boston Consulting Group report Managing the next decade of women's wealth April 2020


Main contributor: UBS editorial