Finance industry unites on International Women's Day to support female entrepreneurs

Pedro Gonçalves
Finance industry unites on International Women's Day to support female entrepreneurs

New research commissioned by The WealthiHer Network carried out by consultancy Kantar shows women (20%) are almost half as likely as men (38%) to take risks to maximise financial returns.

The survey of 2,542 British adults also found that women aged between 18 and 34 (32%) are almost twice as likely to have no savings or investments than men in the same age group (18%).

Despite predictions that by 2025 over 60% of the UK's wealth will be held by women, the financial industries remain dominated by men.

Women see the opportunities wealth creates for independence, the people they care about, the next generation, and for the benefit of everyone"

Figures that have pushed some of the world's biggest banks and financial institutions have come together to support female entrepreneurs and improve women's wealth.

Barclays, HSBC, JP Morgan, Investec, Brewin Dolphin and Julius Baer have all put their weight behind The WealthiHer Network.

Launching on the day the Treasury publishes its Rose Report into the barriers facing women who want to start their own business The WealthiHer Network will carry out the biggest ever study into women's wealth in Britain to highlight men and women's unique needs and differences.

The report will be published in April with a series of recommendations to industry and government.

The network will drive change within their organisations and share best practice to support female entrepreneurs, as well as divorcees and those who inherit wealth, ultimately improving and increasing women's wealth.

The WealthiHer Network Co-Founder and entrepreneur Tamara Gillan said: "Women see the opportunities wealth creates for independence, the people they care about, the next generation, and for the benefit of everyone. 

"We are delighted to be launching The WealthiHer Network, a group of change-agents from the world of finance who have come together for the first time to champion female investors, entrepreneurs and clients."

The WealthiHer Co-Founder and former J.P Morgan Head of Female Client Strategy Lauren von Stackelberg said: "I've worked with countess female entrepreneurs who have told me time and time again that the banks just aren't catered for them.

"I was tired of hearing them ask "why am I the only woman in the room?"- so we've decided to change.

"That's why we've set up The WealthiHer Network - to champion female entrepreneurs and clients, so they are in THE club - not just the girls club."

Annabel Bosman, Head of Relationship Management, Julius Baer, "In the UK, a large proportion of our client base is female and in our experience, we find that women generally have less trust of the financial sector and do not feel it always relates to and interprets their needs in the same way as male clients.

"As a consequence, they rely more heavily on their social networks for referrals when seeking legal and financial advice, with ‘trust' playing a major factor in the decision-making process.

"This is why we're proud to support WealthiHer in its mission to inspire women to help them protect and grow their wealth."

Emily Cvijan, private banker, Investec Private Bank said: "The launch of the WealthiHer Network is an important milestone, this kind of collaboration across the industry is what is going to truly shift the dial when it comes to servicing female clients."

Karen Frank, CEOPrivate Bank & Overseas Services, Barclays said: "Female preferences around growing, protecting and managing their wealth can vary considerably from their male counterparts.

"Therefore it's fundamental we understand all our clients' motivations to ensure our solutions are tailored and relevant." 

Entrepreneur Lara Morgan, who sold the company she founded Pacific Direct for £20m in 2008, said both women and banks need to be working together.

She said: "This is a two-way street. Financial institutions need to understand that women and men learn in a different way. Women often want to spend longer considering options for instance. The banks need to take more time to make sure women are clear of all the options but at the same time women have to make sure they educate themselves."