The UK’s first ever international specialist wealth management service for the LGBT market has been launched today by Equality Wealth Management and St James’s Place Wealth Management.
The Equality Wealth service was first launched and piloted in Hong Kong. It will now cover the UK and Ireland.
The launch of the Equality Wealth service is in response to an increasing need for specialist financial advice within the LGBT community. The service has partnered with financial advisers who understand the particular needs of the community with products and services that have been screened.
Structured as an Accreditation Programme for LGBT specialist financial advisers, Equality Wealth connects to advice and services by introducing specially trained St James’s Place Partner Advisers with expertise in a number of key areas including retirement planning and saving, insurance and wealth protection. It plans to combine the financial planning resource of a top-tier wealth management institution with specialist knowledge of the issues facing the LGBT Community. Equality Wealth also acts a conduit to specialist knowledge and financial advice for the LGBT community on starting a family.
Research shows that when it comes to retirement, there is a potential LGBT retirement cost premium of more than 20%, as well as a significant lack of retirement planning. The research, gained from a survey which Equality Wealth recently commissioned via LGBT news outlet Gay Star News, showed that only around 20% of respondents felt they had planned adequately for retirement and more than a third saying they had not made any plans at all.
Paul Thompson, Chairman of Equality Wealth and Founder of LGBT Capital, the world’s first specialist investment management company focused on the LGBT sector said: “We think a specialist LGBT Wealth management service in partnership with a major Institution is a very important development and shows the significance of the LGBT market. Many people in the LGBT community do not have access to advisers who truly understand their needs and the LGBT life cycle can be very different. Important issues such as saving for retirement can be overlooked and with a generally higher disposable income there is real opportunity with the right advice for the LGBT Community to achieve their financial goals.
“Clearly the LGBT consumer represents a significant opportunity for both spending and investment but it is essential that where Financial Advice is given, there is understanding of the individual’s specific issues and in regions where LGBT individuals are generally more private about their lifestyle, it is even more important to have a trusted adviser with whom they feel comfortable discussing their situation and objectives. We believe that Equality Wealth provides this.”
Iain Rayner, Joint Chief Operating Officer of St James’s Place, said: “St James’s Place is delighted that Equality Wealth has chosen to work with us on this exciting initiative. Our corporate values embrace diversity and inclusion and we are keen to actively project these values by supporting all members of society in reaching their financial goals and having advice tailored to their needs.”
Figures show that the LGBT market is a significant and growing market. The LGBT population in the UK alone is over 4 million and represents some US$150 billion in spending power each year. Globally, the LGBT population is estimated at over 400 million with a spending power of some US$3 trillion and an estimated total wealth of US$15 trillion.
Anders Jacobsen, Head of Investment & Research at LGBT Capital, supports product development and provider screening efforts at Equality Wealth, maximising the LGBT-relevance and values sought in the industry partners and their product offering, said: “We observe that the LGBT Community is becoming increasingly aware of the power to create positive change held in its spending and investment decisions, and companies and service providers are responding accordingly, seeking to profile well to this Community and to the growing community of LGBT Ally’s, also seeking evidence of corporates’ social and inclusion values when making their consumer choices.”