The article below is from our BRIEFINGS newsletter of 09 December 2021
Affluent women are poised to fuel the next wave of growth in the U.S. wealth management industry. We sat down with Goldman Sachs’ Meena Flynn, co-head of Global Private Wealth Management in the Consumer and Wealth Management Division, to discuss the recent launch of In the Lead, a platform for ultra-high-net-worth women with curated advice, insights and networking opportunities.
Can you start by describing In the Lead and why the firm decided to launch it?
Meena Flynn: In the Lead is a new way for women clients to experience private wealth management. The program consists of thought leadership, curated insights and resources, as well as an exclusive community and network for these clients. It was created based on what we were hearing from our clients and our own research. And while we’ve always worked closely with our women clients, many of them were looking for a more tailored experience to help cater to their unique needs.
So what does the current wealth management landscape look like and how do you expect that might change?
Meena Flynn: Over the next decade, U.S. affluent women are expected to control an unprecedented amount of assets—as much as $30 trillion, according to a McKinsey study, considering demographic shifts in the baby boomer generation. Given that women tend to outlive men by about five years, we expect men will cede control of these assets to their female spouses who tend to be younger and live longer. And one of the things that’s happened historically is that 70% of women change their financial advisor within one year of their spouse or partner passing. That’s usually because they weren’t part of the financial planning or didn’t feel connected to the advisor.
More women are financially savvy and are the family breadwinners. How do you see growth in that segment shaping wealth management?
Meena Flynn: Along with these demographic changes, married affluent women are making financial decisions for the household—over the last five years the number of women doing so went up roughly 30%. And while these are U.S.-centric stats, we’re seeing similar trends across the globe.