One of the key changes in the private wealth industry is the rise in the number of female clients, which is mainly down to increasing female wealth. Independent income, business ownership and investments are progressively replacing historical sources of women's wealth, such as marriage, inheritance and divorce. Michelle Andrews, head of Premier and Wealth Insights at HSBC, tells Citywealth about her growing base of wealthy female clients.
Tell me about your role at HSBC UK Premier and Wealth
As head of Premier and Wealth Insights at HSBC UK, I am helping our clients make investment decisions. Understanding the relationship women have with their finances and their investment habits is a central part of my role.
How has the private client industry changed?
One of the key changes is the rise in the number of female clients, which is mainly down to increasing female wealth. Independent income, business ownership and investments are progressively replacing historical sources of women's wealth, such as marriage, inheritance and divorce. More women now grow their new wealth from personal earnings and this is having a direct impact on the private client industry.
How can you encourage more women to invest?
While gender does not define the way we manage our money, there are factors that may put some women off investing, such as financial jargon, lack of time and often a more conservative attitude to risk. To encourage more women to invest, we came up with initiatives such as giving clients more time to think about investment options, coaching staff to avoid unnecessary jargon, and holding investment events specifically designed for female clients to encourage peer interaction and knowledge share.
What is the most common request?
Some of the main reasons clients come to see us include inheriting money and the wish to discuss their retirement plans. Many are disappointed with the returns on cash so they want to consider more risk with their investments.
Tell us about the achievement you are most proud of
I was put in charge of three large teams when I was twenty and enjoyed listening to clients developing a vision for colleagues to follow. I am also proud that HSBC UK has given me a free mandate to make a difference for women investing in the UK.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Take time in your life to be grateful for what you have. Sometimes, when our lives are so busy, we forget to stop and smile for those around us.
What do you do to unwind?
Enjoy time on the sofa with my family, in front of an open fire burning and a small glass of wine or two. I also enjoy evening walks along our local beach on late summer evenings and I treasure our holidays in the sunshine too.