The Great Wealth Transfer is creating hot competition to attract millennials and Gen-Z expected to inherit more than $84 trillion over the next two decades.1  It’s estimated that two-thirds or more of those heirs will seek a new financial institution or advisor.2 That means banks and wealth management firms need to move fast to ensure they can meet the demands of digital natives.

It’s not just about having the latest capabilities in online and mobile banking. Younger generations expect personalized attention, especially for making decisions about how to manage and invest inherited wealth. Banks need to show that they know the client and their entire relationship through every interaction — and in reality, most banks (and branch bankers) are not equipped for that.

In a recent BAI podcast, Beyond the Arc CEO Steven Ramirez shared insights on what banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions can do to meet the new demands at scale.

GenZ woman


Compete for affluent digital-native clients
with a financial advisor marketing agency

Financial advisors need strategic marketing approaches to stand out amid the clamor for millennial assets. We help you get noticed through digital engagement and branding. Our financial advisor marketing solutions keep younger clients actively engaged through social media, customized content, and interactive tools. We help you shape an authentic brand identity that resonates across multiple platforms. Let us help you create targeted campaigns to attract and retain millennial and Gen Z clients for enduring relationships. The Great Wealth Transfer won’t wait – let’s create a competitive edge for your firm.

  • Increase your visibility on digital channels and share insights to help educate and attract younger investors

  • Highlight modern digital experiences you offer like a mobile-friendly wealth portal, and apps for dynamic financial planning and assessing risk tolerance

  • Position yourself as a trusted advisor with more client engagement via email newsletters and blogs on topics like tax strategies for heirs, retirement planning, and ESG investing

70-80% of heirs may seek a new financial advisor when they inherit2

The four C’s for attracting affluent customers

The four C’s for attracting affluent customers are Connection, Creativity, Client Advocacy, and Client Experience. High net worth clients now look for who offers the best digital self-serve capabilities, but they also want a highly personalized relationship with a trusted advisor. That means understanding what sets a given firm apart from others and makes it right for them. Attracting and retaining wealthy clients will get even more challenging in the coming years.

As trillions of dollars transfer between generations in the coming decades, competition for high net worth clients will intensify. Firms that can attract and retain affluent millennials and Gen Xers now will gain an edge. The four C’s – Connection, Creativity, Client Advocacy, and Client Experience – provide a framework for appealing to this demographic.

Digital self-service capabilities are a must, as tech-savvy clients demand user-friendly apps and platforms. However, a personalized touch will always still matter.

Affluent clients want to feel understood and build relationships with advisors who truly advocate for their needs. Firms should showcase their uniqueness and why they are the best fit. With so many competitors, it’s vital to communicate the value you offer through content and messaging that resonates.

Here are a few common questions about the Great Wealth Transfer:

How much wealth will actually be transferred? Estimates range from over $70 trillion to $80 trillion that will pass between generations. Long term estimates keep rising with the value of the stock market.

When will the Great Wealth Transfer occur? It’s already underway and expected to peak between 2031 and 2045.

Who will inherit the transferred wealth? Gen X and millennials stand to be the primary beneficiaries to inherit trillions of dollars. The youngest Millennial was born in 1996, and the cohort ranges from people born between 1981-1996. That means the oldest are in their early 40’s. And it is important to note that Gen X is currently inheriting wealth from Baby Boomers and shouldn’t be ignored.

How will family dynamics be affected? Disagreements over unequal inheritances, confusion over estate plans, conflicts over caregiving, and confusion over wealth management are family issues likely to arise. Financial advisors predict inheritance disputes will increase as wealth transfers occur.

Are heirs prepared to handle the wealth? According to various surveys, the majority of heirs feel unprepared to manage large inheritances. This suggests a need for more financial education and advisory services to ensure inheritances are properly managed. There may be an increased need to focus on certain topics including taxes (particularly capital gains tax), life insurance, trusts, real estate, and portfolio diversification. With family members living longer, there is an opportunity to engage future generations, including children and grandchildren, in a lifelong discussion about building and managing wealth.