Rich women mean big business for some of the world’s largest wealth managers.
Women control about $14 trillion in assets in the U.S., which is comparable to the gross domestic products of China and India combined — and they’re under-served by financial advisers, said Andy Sieg, president of Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch Wealth Management unit.
The industry needs to hone its services to reflect the growing power of female clients, said Shelley O’Connor, co-head of wealth management at Morgan Stanley.
“It’s so important that firms listen to what women want,” while also increasing diversity among their advisers and branch managers, O’Connor said at a conference Thursday in Naples, Florida. “The success of wealth management in the years ahead depends on making sure we all look like the clients and communities we serve.”
Women are becoming more educated, outliving their spouses and inheriting money from their parents, Sieg said in an interview. Those demographic shifts are becoming more pronounced, giving women greater authority in financial decisions, he said.