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Schroders In Singapore Aims To Close "Gender Investing Gap"

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 8 March 2022

Schroders In Singapore Aims To Close

The wealth management firm says there is a gap between the extent to which women invest and manage finances compared with men, and is launching education and specific product offerings to close it.

Schroders in Singapore is launching a campaign to improve women's involvement in investment and financial decision-making, coinciding with International Women’s Day, being marked today.

The firm is rolling out a “Together as Women” strategic campaign that aims to close the “gender investing gap” through gender equality and financial education efforts. 

The campaign also marks the launch of a new W share class for the Schroder Asian Income fund, with OCBC Bank as the exclusive distributor of the new share class, the UK-listed wealth management firm said in a statement yesterday. The new share class of the fund is available only at OCBC Bank branches, and only to women. To obtain it, they can put in at least S$100 instead of the usual minimum of S$1,000. The fund was first launched in 2011.

Such marketing moves are examples of how firms are tapping the International Women's Day series of events to showcase their own efforts in the space. As reported last week, women’s wealth is growing fast globally presenting a “huge” business opportunity for wealth managers, according to UBS Global Wealth Management. With the growing trend of women wanting to take control of their finances, wealth managers need to target their offering very carefully, the report found. In a 2022 survey by BNY, it calculated that if women invested at the same rate as men, there could be more than $3.22 trillion of additional capital to invest globally. Wealth managers know that empowering more women to manage their finance and investments is also smart business. In the US, for example, an unprecedented amount of assets will shift into the hands of US women over the next three to five years, representing a $30 trillion opportunity by the end of the decade, according to a McKinsey report in 2020.

According to figures Schroders cited from the World Economic Forum, the gender gap in economic participation and opportunity has closed up to 58 per cent in 2021, narrowing slightly to 57.8 per cent in 2020. The findings are in line with the results of the OCBC Financial Wellness Index 2021, which showed that although the percentage of women with investments in Singapore increased from 60 per cent in 2020 to 79 per cent in 2021, a gender investing gap still exists, contributing to a wealth disparity between genders. The results also discovered that women lack confidence when it comes to investing; those who do not invest think it is too risky and complicated, as they lack basic knowledge about it. Close to half (40 per cent) of the women surveyed also did not know the best way to grow their money, compared with men (35 per cent).

The “Together as Women” campaign aims to narrow this gender investing gap by empowering women to be more financially confident and equip them with the necessary financial knowledge over the long term.

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