Wilmington, DE, April 29, 2009 –Women of exceptional affluence are increasingly taking control of wealth management in their families, reflecting larger societal shifts that have taken place over the last several decades according to a new study released today. The study also reveals that affluent women are choosing more active methods of guiding the next generation in wealth planning.
“The New Wealth Paradigm: How affluent women are taking control of their futures,” by Wilmington Trust and Campden Research in association with Relative Solutions, shows that women are seeking a holistic approach to wealth management, which includes establishing family governance structures and fostering dialogue, particularly with their children, about wealth management.
The research, which was conducted in autumn 2008,includes a survey of40 women,aged 40 to 65 with a minimum net worth of $25 million and at least one child. Just under half of the participants inherited their wealth, while the remaining half are almost evenly split between those who created their wealth and those whose husbands are the source of their wealth.
“More than anything, the women in our study view their wealth as a source of empowerment to achieve their goals and independence,” said Cynthia A. Conway, marketing manager for Wilmington Trust’s Wealth Advisory Services business. “Unlike their fathers and mothers,who tended to view wealth as a demonstration of their success in life, these women view their wealth primarily as a means to pursue a path that reflects their deepest values and their desire to serve their communities.”
While the women surveyed said they were raised in households with traditional views of a woman’s role, they emerged with a commitment to develop their professional skills and to be viewed in their families and communities as having equal opportunities and status as men, Ms. Conway added.
“We are in the midst of a significant shift in the wealth paradigm,” said Mindy Rosenthal, co-author of the study and North American managing director at Campden Media. “This is an important trend. Women are stepping up to new levels of involvement in the management of their families’ wealth, with 88% of those in the study playing a high-to-moderate role in the management of family assets. At the same time, they want to be more open with their children about family wealth, but they fear mishandling the discussions.”
As a result, there is a significant opportunity for advisors who can help women with all aspects of wealth planning, including asset management, estate planning, family governance, and wealth education, Ms. Rosenthal added.
“The study participants see a vital role for wealth education in families,” said Fredda Herz Brown, Ph.D, principal of Relative Solutions. “Women want their wealth to provide fuller, more focused lives for their children and they seek to work with advisors who understand their financial, personal, and familial goals. By learning about the life experiences of their clients, and how wealth affects them and what they want for the next generation, advisors can become more effective in meeting their clients’ needs and serving them.”
About the study
Of the 40 women in the study:
- All had children, with two being the most common number
- Almost all graduated college; 50% hold a master’s degree
- 80% are married; 35% have been married more than once
- 75% trace their wealth to an operating company; 58% consider investments a major secondary source of wealth
- 75% represent their family’s second generation wealth or older
- More than 50% have a family net worth greater than $50 million
- 25% are wealth creators; 47.5% are inheritors; 27.5% source their wealth to their spouses
- Wealth is viewed as a source of empowerment to achieve philanthropic, professional, and personal goals and independence rather than a demonstration of success in life.
- Many of the women work full-or part-time and as children were expected to do chores and work for extras. They are hoping to pass this ethic and focus to their children.
- 90% of the women say they spend below their means and can be cost-conscious.
- 88% of the women are moderately-or highly-involved in the oversight of their wealth and management of the family’s assets.
- Marital status plays a role in how women view wealth. Those who have been divorced or whose parents were divorced were more focused on becoming financially independent.
- 93% of the women discuss major purchases with their spouse.
- The majority, 78%, of the women grew up in families that did not openly discuss their wealth.
- The women surveyed would like assistance from their advisors. Fear of mishandling when and how to speak to children about their wealth is a stumbling block.
- 68% of the women claim a strong understanding of their assets. The women meet regularly with advisors, read investment performance reports, and try to compile a complete wealth picture.
- The women want assistance in creating and implementing governance structures,and wish to see increased levels of engagement and collaboration among family members more than their male counterparts do.
About Wilmington Trust
Wilmington Trust Corporation (NYSE: WL) is a financial services holding company that provides Regional Banking services throughout the mid-Atlantic region, Wealth Advisory Services –including fiduciary, asset management, and family office services –for high-net-worth clients in 36 countries, and Corporate Client Services for institutional clients in 88countries. Its wholly owned bank subsidiary, Wilmington Trust Company, which was founded in 1903, is one of the largest personal trust providers in the United States and the leading retail and commercial bank in Delaware. Wilmington Trust Corporation and its affiliates have offices in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, and Amsterdam.
About Campden Media
Campden Media, founded in 1987, is a mixed-media publishing and events company serving the private wealth management community. Campden Research is a new business, specially formed to further extend this information offering. Campden Research supplies market in sight on key sector issues for its client community,and their advisors and suppliers. Through in-depth studies and comprehensive methodologies, Campden Research provides unique and proprietary data and analysis based on primary sources.
Campden Conferences is the global leader in providing knowledge and private forums for significant business and financial families and their private offices. For over a decade, Campden Conferenceshas been bringing together families from throughout Europe, the United States, Asia,and the Middle East for exclusive closed-door meetings covering family business, family office,and wealth management issues. Campden also publishes the leading international business titles Campden FB and Campden FO. With unrivalled accessto CEOs of the world’s leading family businesses and comment from the most respected experts in the field, Campden FB is aimed at members of family-owned companies in at least their second generation,with annual revenues that exceed $100 million. Campden FO is the international magazine for family offices and private wealth advisors.
About Relative Solutions
Relative Solutions is a consulting firm with several locations whose work involves helping multi-generational families effectively manage the complex decisions relating to their shared assets –family businesses, real estate, foundations, family offices, and investments. The firm’s collaborative approach to consulting focuses on the intersection of family dynamics with ownership, enterprise management, and leadership. The four principals, Fredda Herz Brown, Samuel Davis III, Dennis T. Jaffe, and Fran Lotery, help families appreciate the intricate ways in which they are joined together and capitalize on their strengths to positively address difficult choices within, between, and throughout the generations. They prepare the families to manage change by raising the difficult questions that include power, control, inheritance, and succession.
To obtain a copy of this research, please visit www.campden.com/research  .