While men dominate the ranks of the ultra-rich (those with a net worth of $500M or more), more and more women are finding their way to the top, as we’ve learned at Capital Hedge via our FINTRX Platform. The Forbes 2017 Billionaires List, the biggest and fastest growing ranking since the initiative’s beginning decades ago, included 227 females, 56 of them self-made.
While women still represent a fairly small part of the billionaire community, they’re continuing to add to their ranks. Perhaps more interesting is that the percentage increase in self-made women was greater than the increase in the number of billionaires overall, which could signal a change in who creates and controls wealth for the future.
According to Hannah Shaw Grove, managing director at iCapital Network, "Women that have created their own wealth are different from those that marry or inherit their wealth in several ways. They are more willing to take calculated business risks and they are often motivated to take steps to enlarge and enhance their personal fortunes through new business ventures, sophisticated tax and investment strategies, and the creation of family offices." The more UHNW women there are, the more family offices there will potentially be cropping up.
The rise of self-made women is helping to drive the significant growth in the amount of wealth controlled by single-family offices as well. "We're finding that female business owners with significant wealth are extremely interested and disposed to setting up their own family offices. Their primary motivation, which is the same for men, is to ensure they're in control," notes Angelo Robles, founder and CEO of the Family Office Association.
“When family offices are being structured for female wealth creators, they commonly include a philanthropic element from the very beginning that enables the wealth to be deployed in ways that positively impact local communities and society at large,” notes Grove. In turn, we’re likely to see more and more female-led single- and multi-family offices proliferating in the coming years, thanks to the growing number of ultra-high net worth women making their mark.