BMO Harris Private Banking

BMO Harris Private Banking

June 13, 2013 07:00 ET

BMO Harris Private Banking Changing Face of Wealth Study: More Than One-Third of Alberta's Wealthy Are Women

- Thirty-six per cent of affluent Albertans are women

- More than two-thirds of high-net worth individuals in Alberta are self-made

- Education pays: 78 per cent hold at least a university degree; only 11 per cent have a high school diploma or less

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - June 13, 2013) - Today BMO Harris Private Banking released the first in a series of studies examining the high-net worth segment in Canada (defined as those with investible assets of $1 million or more). The inaugural report shows that women are well represented among Alberta's affluent, accounting for more than one-third (36 per cent) of the province's wealthy.

"It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Albertan women make up such a significant number of the province's affluent population," said Mary Ellen Neilson, Regional Vice President and Managing Director, Prairies, BMO Harris Private Banking. "After all, across North America, the wealth controlled by women is increasing by eight per cent annually. We're also seeing more women playing a larger role in their family's finances with many taking on the role of household 'Chief Financial Officer'."

Ms. Neilson also noted, "There are differences between men and women when managing their money. Our research has found that women put a premium on clear, honest, and relevant communication regarding product and service offerings."

Other key findings for Alberta from the study included:

  • Seventy-two per cent of high-net worth Albertans reported that their wealth was primarily self-made.
  • Forty-four per cent are new Canadians, having either immigrated to Canada themselves or having at least one parent born outside of the country.
  • Education matters in Alberta - 78 per cent of the province's high-net worth residents report holding at least a university undergraduate degree. Only 11 per cent said they have a high school diploma or less.

"It's encouraging to see such a high percentage of self-made individuals in Alberta. An entrepreneurial spirit is an asset and these individuals can act as inspiration and leaders for those who are looking to start a business or climb the corporate ladder," concluded Ms. Neilson.

Key National Findings:

On a national level, the study found the following:

  • Two-thirds (67 per cent) of high-net worth Canadians are self-made millionaires, making their wealth on their own. Only one-in-five (20 per cent) attribute at least part of their wealth to an inheritance.
  • Women make up one-third of Canada's affluent, up from 21 per cent three years ago.
  • Almost half (48 per cent) are either immigrants to Canada (24 per cent), or describe themselves as first generation Canadians with at least one parent born outside of Canada (24 per cent).
  • Education is a big indicator of wealth with 80 per cent of high-net worth Canadians possessing at least a university degree and 46 per cent a graduate or professional degree; 10 per cent have a technical, trade or apprenticeship degree and just 9 per cent hold only a high school diploma or less.

Regional Breakdown

Region Percentage
who are
who are new
who are women
National 67 48 32
Atlantic 83 46 37
Quebec 64 44 24
Ontario 64 45 36
Alberta 72 44 36
British Columbia 74 68 26

The online survey was conducted by Pollara between March 28th and April 11th, 2013 with a sample of 305 Canadian adults who have $1M+ in investable assets (including a sub-sample of 36 Albertans). The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 5.6%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Harris Private Banking

Backed by the stability and resources of BMO Financial Group, professionals at BMO Harris Private Banking are responsible for the successful management of wealth by providing expert advice and highly personalized services in banking, investment management, estate, trust, succession planning and philanthropic services - all in with coordinated and confident approach. With 34 offices across Canada, including Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, BMO Harris Private Banking is able to service clients in a variety of languages.

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