Women & Wealth – Asia’s Growing Consumer Segment

Women in Asia Pacific are joining the workforce in record numbers. Having achieved considerable success either joining the upper ranks of private sector companies or as successful entrepreneurs and thanks to the rapid creation of wealth in the Asia Pacific, women are now fast closing the income and wealth gap with men.

According to Boston Consulting Group, women in 2019 control 32% of the world wealth and that share is expected to grow to 34% in 2023, with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019 to 2023 of 7.2%, 38% higher than the equivalent CAGR for men. Asian women (ex Japan) hold a share of wealth (USD 13 trillion) just shy of Western Europe women’s one, but with much higher growth expected in Asia.  If the same trajectory continues, by 2023, Asian women (ex Japan) will hold the second largest share of wealth behind women in North America.

But how much do financial services firms know about the specificity of this segment and how their needs, behaviour and outlook differ from their male counterparts? This month we will be looking at the consumer profile of affluent and HNW women in 6 key Asian markets, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and UAE. We will look at their specific financial behaviour and needs, and how these differ from the affluent and HNW men’s ones.


Women in our sample are more likely to have gained their wealth through employment with private enterprises (31% vs 26% for men), while men are more likely to derive their wealth from starting a business, a clear sign that more effort is needed to support women who want to become entrepreneurs.

While both men and women tend to equally favour working with a financial advisor (~80%), women tend to be less satisfied with their current financial services providers, with 51% (vs 44% for men) looking for a new bank and 51% (vs 43% for men) looking for a new insurance provider. An even larger share are looking for a new wealth management provider. Financial services providers need to pay particular attention to service their female clients and understand how to build long term loyalty with them.


Interestingly, affluent and HNW women, on average, seems to feel more confident about investing than men, with a larger share claiming to have good knowledge of financial matters. It is probably for this reason that women have been more active in managing the pandemic impact on their wealth, with 37% (vs 31% for men) readjusting their portfolio to maximise capital protection, maximise returns (30% vs 24% for men) and for diversification. A larger share (35%) have proactively reached out to their financial advisor to discuss how to change their investment strategy.


This is true not only in financial matters. Women have been more proactive in taking concrete steps to protect not just their wealth, but their family too, buying additional life insurance, health insurance, increasing their children education fund. At the same time, they have become more cautious with their spend, with 35% cutting their luxury spend.

Women tend to worry more about their future, with 58% (vs 47% for men) worrying about their and their family’s health and 38% (vs 30% for men) worrying about their children future. As a result, when reviewing their insurance needs, women tend to be more methodical, with 41% reviewing their needs at fixed intervals, rather than when something unexpected happens, which is when men often take the initiative to review their insurance needs.


The insights presented are an extract from The AFFLUENTIAL™ Wealth Report 2021, Agility Research and Strategy’s leading sector report which analyses the financial needs of HNW and UHNW individuals in Asia, and is designed to study how the financial behavior of the HNW & UHNW individuals across key Asian and global markets has changed post Covid-19.

Our teams have completed interviews with over 3,600 HNWIs and UHNWIs across key markets in Q4 2020. Key insights from The AFFLUENTIAL™ Wealth Report 2021 provide wealth management, banks, insurance, credit cards and other financial brands data and insights on wealthy individuals and how has wealth evolved during this pandemic, helping brands shape their strategy to win share of wallet in a hyper competitive environment.

Click here to download a prospectus or reach out to jason@agility-research.com for more information on subscription options.

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