What are the unique characteristics and needs of high net worth investors (HNW) in a digital world? This is a question of great interest for all wealth management firms.

Our most recent survey on Generation D, for which we surveyed 1,200 individuals across seven European markets, included a smaller, yet significant segment of HNW investors – in total 400 responses. Here is what we learned about them:

HNW investors are part of the Gen D investor segment

As investors who possess more wealth to transact, HNW investors are typically thought of as merely casual users of digital, generally reluctant to invest digitally. Not so say our survey results:

  • Some 87 percent of HNW respondents already use digital for financial services.
  • Two-thirds of them—67 percent—are weekly users of social media.
  • More than 40 percent consider themselves early adopters in technology.

These findings closely mirror those from other wealth segments within Gen D­—and the similarities don’t end there. HNW investors are open to digital involvement and consider it to be an essential part of their institutions’ offerings. Like other Gen D investors, HNW investors still prefer face-to-face interaction, but:

  • Only 25 percent fear that digital could damage their investor-advisor relationship,
  • And just 20 percent foresee digital as limiting access to their advisor.

In short, HNW investors prefer face-to-face contact, but do not consider digital technology to be a threat to their current relationship.

But, here’s where they differ

Read the report.
Read the report.

HNW investors are even more interested in learning about investing than affluent and mass market survey subjects. Most of the HNW investors consider themselves already knowledgeable about investing, but desire still greater knowledge, leading to a unique and sophisticated investor.

Survey data also reveal stark differences in tools and service desires between Gen D wealth cohorts. While other wealth segments place higher value on channel options or online features, HNW investors see educational and planning tools and services as true difference makers. More on this to come next week.

Firms that understand how HNW investors differ from the rest of the Generation D investors can satisfy HNW investors’ need for more knowledge by offering tools that place a heavier emphasis on social media and shareable experiences. Join me next week when I look more at the specific tools and services HNW investors value.

Until then, read: