As women gain a stronger foothold in the finance world, so do the numbers of ultra high-net worth females. Vipul Kapur, Managing Director, Head of Private Banking, Mashreq Bank outlines his observations
The wealth management industry is gearing up for ‘the greatest transfer of wealth in modern history’ as wealth moves from the baby boomers to the current generation. Underscoring this transition is yet another development that is simultaneously taking place — an increasing number of women are amassing wealth and joining the ranks of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNIs). It is estimated that women across the globe are accumulating wealth at an unprecedented rate, adding $5 trillion to the pool every year, and now accounting for 32 per cent of global wealth. The rise in the UAE is particularly noteworthy with women’s wealth in the country expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3 per cent up to 2023 according to a new report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
When affluent women begin to exercise greater control over their finances, they tend to seek wealth management relationships that are better aligned with their needs. This represents a critical inflexion point for the wealth management industry. The right set of wealth management solutions will not only help women preserve and grow their wealth but will also contribute to overall economic growth in the region. The Private Banking team of Mashreq, one of the leading banks in the GCC region and globally, reveals its plans for the upper crust of women investors.
The tide across the Gulf region is changing with the emergence of ultra-high net worth women. How does Mashreq Bank plan to cater to the changing imperatives?
Inarguably, women in the GCC, and across the globe, are amassing wealth in an unprecedented manner. Women are taking on more leadership positions or are turning into successful entrepreneurs, thereby catalysing change across industries.
The wealth management landscape is changing as clients demand customised solutions that are delivered to them in a seamless and resourceful manner.
At Mashreq, we have always focused on understanding the unique requirements of our ultra-high-net-worth women clients, and then offering them bespoke and hand-crafted wealth solutions that can ably cater to these requirements. We have also adopted a digital-first attitude that enables us to focus on product innovation and provide our clients with a unified experience. With more women becoming glowing members of the ultra-high-net-worth club, Mashreq Bank, with its focus on holistic wealth solutions, is well-positioned to cater to their unique needs.
How are the ultra-high-net-worth women at a dominant position in the society driving the economic change today?
It is generally assumed that women are more conservative when it comes to making important decisions, whether in business or investments. However, this is now rapidly changing. Their intrinsic conservatism is giving way to astute decision-making that exemplifies their innate ability to take controlled risks. This spells very well for companies and the overall economy.
According to a McKinsey report, enterprises having over 30 per cent of women executives were more likely to outperform corporates with fewer women employees.
How is Mashreq Bank proactively working towards the goals of the ultra-high-net-worth women?
There are some things that are unique to women and directly influence their wealth management needs. There is a significant confidence gap between advisors and clients of the opposite gender.
In general, women investors are more comfortable discussing financial topics with women wealth managers. They have also shown a proclivity to take financial advice from other women whom they consider as financial experts rather than their male counterparts. It is becoming increasingly clear that to win in this segment wealth managers need to create meaningful propositions that address the unique needs of women.
At Mashreq, we understand the unique imperatives of wealthy women investors. We have a team of certified women wealth relationship managers especially catering to our wealthy women clients, who meet, understand and evaluate their wealth and investment aspirations.
In our effort to empower our clients, we are also planning exclusive thought-leadership summits and wealth conclaves for wealthy women to become a meaningful part of the wealth management narrative.
Can you detail the differential portfolio for women?
It might not be accurate to paint all ultra-high-net-worth women with the same paintbrush. While inevitably there are likely to be some commonalities in terms of portfolio requirements, each client has a distinct risk profile and is impacted by dissimilar life events. For example, there could be someone like Warren Buffet’s wife who has more than 90 per cent of her wealth in equities despite being on the other side of 70, while there could be younger women with favourable age dynamics who might be averse to the risk that equities represent. Some might be looking for a stable portfolio, while others might be more focused on growth. Thus, each client’s portfolio is likely to be different and reflect her exclusive requirements. All the above have an impact on the client’s risk profile, returns requirements, and investment time horizon. We are very conscious of the fact that every client has unique requirements and are thus focused on creating and offering a product suite that can holistically cater to their needs. Further, we also understand the role of educating our clients and helping them make the best investment decisions.
Can you share with us the offerings, product suite and recent achievements of the Mashreq Private Bank?
With its Open architecture, bespoke wealth solutions and access to half a million securities across the world, Mashreq Private Bank is truly a ‘global private bank’ — leveraging global avenues with inherent local advantages.
We have a diversified product suite including onshore and offshore investments and financing needs, and we are continuously working to enhance our offering with value-added services.
Clients have access to a wide range of financial solutions ranging from structured investment portfolios, insurance products, wealth structuring, legacy planning and bespoke lending apart from day-to-day banking needs.
Our front-end client management team of Private Bankers, Investment, Insurance, FX specialists and client service teams are equipped with state-of-the-art digital solutions to serve our clients efficiently and seamlessly.
Mashreq is the only Bank in the MENA region having a dedicated Family Office team in the Trillion-dollar segment. The service, which is available in some of the world’s most dynamic markets, serves Family Institutions that have wealth in excess of $50 million.
As a testament to our unwavering commitment to enhancing our client’s wealth creation journeys, Mashreq Private Bank recently won two prestigious awards at the Global Private Banking Innovation Awards 2021 — The Best Private Bank, UAE and Best Private Bank for Funds.
We believe that this is only the beginning and that we are now entering a period of greater optimism and opportunity.
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