As an important element of the research completed for Brokers Ireland on “The Evolution of the Broker Market 2030”, we identified 12 areas to be considered by Financial Brokers to help prepare your business for the changing market environment.
We have considered previously the importance of developing the best proposition and services for different groups of clients and prospects. We now consider the next action identified in the research, which focuses on planning for greater numbers of female clients in the future.
According to research by the Royal Bank of Canada, women will manage two-thirds of household wealth by 2030 and increase their share of global wealth from about half to 70% within two generations. While women have taken significant strides in the workforce over the last two generations, much of the fortunes of men who pass away will also end up in the control of female spouses, who tend to be younger and live longer.
In Ireland, there are more women than men, with the ratio of men to women now at its lowest level since 1871. There are also more women in the workplace today, and so demand for financial advice should increase from them.
More generally, it is important that couples are advised on a very collaborative basis, with the full involvement of both partners. The days of just dealing with the main breadwinner are long gone. Both voices must be heard in conversations about household finances and wealth, to engage and leverage the unique perspectives and insights of both partners.
Some of the specific challenges faced by women when it comes to financial advice also need to be considered. For reasons such as past inequality in the workforce and women taking breaks in their careers to raise their families, women typically have smaller asset pots than men today. In Ireland, a gender gap in pension income – the percentage by which women’s average pension income is lower than that for men’s – of 35% exists today. The advice and solutions offered by Financial Brokers will play an important role in helping to close this gap.
So when it comes to planning to attract greater numbers of female clients, the starting point might be to review your marketing presence to ensure it is appealing to both male and female clients. Carefully review the imagery and text on your website and social media profiles to ensure it is appropriate and appealing to all.
The next step is to consider your own advice approach and proposition, and how well it is positioned for both male and female clients. Are you talking to your clients in an unconsciously male oriented way? Are you really tapping into the specific challenges that women are facing and building these in as a core part of your proposition and your messages? Of course as part of this, it is crucial that you have firmly communicated the importance of having both partners in a relationship at the meeting, to ensure that both voices and their unique perspectives are equally heard.
Finally there is real value in reviewing your client base, with a view to identifying the gender gap in household incomes. This opens up the opportunity for you to build solutions for this gap as part of your advice recommendations, adding value to both the couple themselves and for your business.
The bottom line is though, when you think of your target market you typically look for ways to meet the needs of the largest segment within it. Focusing on females is a sensible place to start.
 Insurance Ireland – Mitigating the Gender Pension Gap in Ireland – March 2022