Now that 2022 has ended—marking the first full year of the UBS Multicultural Investors Segment—we’ve taken some time to reflect on our launch and what we've learned over the course of the year. Below are the top takeaways that will guide our work toward a more inclusive investor experience.
1. Data is queen
“Measure what matters” is an important reminder to focus on execution and tangible results. It’s critical the metrics reflect all our investor audiences: their priorities, preferences and experiences. As the demographics in our country continue to shift, wealth is changing too. The proof: $84 trillion in generational wealth is poised to change hands through 2045, [i] primarily from Baby Boomers to Gen Xers and Millennials, who are more diverse across almost every facet including race and ethnicity, [ii] family planning [iii] and LGBT+ identity.[iv]
Striving to understand our clients' wants and needs is why our research is focused on the ever-evolving, increasingly multicultural wealth landscape. Our commitment to research and data intelligence allows us to quantify the market opportunity, identify investor inclusion goals and track our progress.
2. Don’t overgeneralize
While the term "multicultural" broadly describes a corporate effort, it does not define or imply a singular community. Understanding your audiences means understanding the cultural differences between African-American or Afro-Caribbean or across any of the cultural diasporas. Failure to do so will undermine your efforts. Identify and learn the cultural journeys that best pertain to your business goals, constituents and employee base, and provide pathways to success from there. At UBS, we believe grounding our data in storytelling centers the human experience and actively invites people to explore across cultures.
3. Educate stakeholders on the relationship between inclusive design and the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy
Firms have various stakeholders such as shareholders, employees, clients, communities and suppliers. Corporate DEI efforts have traditionally focused on employees, while more recent efforts around investor experience address clients. Without a doubt, the two are connected—who better to design an inclusive client experience than a diverse group of employees? Nevertheless, for optimal performance, it is essential that your leaders appreciate their distinct functions. This factored heavily into our decision to conduct a pre-launch road show across all markets.
4. Collaboration, diversity of thought is required
Reimagining the investor experience isn’t the work of one person; it takes partnership, persistence and patience to effect lasting change. You must insist on thoughtful minds at every step of the process. Don’t define diversity along one dimension such as race or ethnicity; consider a broad spectrum and encourage diversity of thought, too. Create space for folks to be vulnerable about their life experiences, share ideas early and often and challenge our approach. As I wrote earlier, we established an advisory board of UBS Financial Advisors (our “Coalition of Doers”) to make progress in these critical areas and I am continually encouraged by their dedication.
5. To build community, give people a reason to leave the house
Being part of a larger community of investors is essential to the investor experience, and we've found that connections are best made in person. People are highly digital nowadays, yet will engage if the event provides an unforgettable, inclusive experience that highlights your unique offerings. You can expand your horizons, spark change and have an amazing time doing it. We strive to host events we would want to attend ourselves—like the Devotion watch party that we hosted on the USS Intrepid.
In 2023, our team will be laser-focused on scaling in an organic way. I’m energized by what we’ve accomplished this year and ready for more. What were your big takeaways this year?
[i] Cerulli Associates, cerulli.com/press-releases/cerulli-anticipates-84-trillion-in-wealth-transfers-through-2045
[ii] Pew Research Center, pewresearch.org/social-trends/2018/11/15/early-benchmarks-show-post-millennials-on-track-to-be-most-diverse-best-educated-generation-yet/
[iii] Pew Research Center, pewresearch.org/social-trends/2019/02/14/millennial-life-how-young-adulthood-today-compares-with-prior-generations-2/#:~:text=are%20the%20details.-,Education,-Today%E2%80%99s%20young%20adults
[iv] Pew Research Center, pewresearch.org/social-trends/2018/11/15/early-benchmarks-show-post-millennials-on-track-to-be-most-diverse-best-educated-generation-yet