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6 December 2022

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, a significant part of wealth will be transferred to women

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HAVEL & PARTNERS has launched a large-scale project called NextŽeny (NextWomen) focusing on the transfer of wealth to women. The law firm has published a study summarising the socio-economic, demographic, and legislative factors and circumstances that contribute to the increase in wealth held and managed by women in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. According to an analysis of the family and financial situation of a group of the richest Czechs and Slovaks that are the owners of the largest family businesses in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, between 48% and 70% of their property could be inherited by women in the coming years.

Women control one-third of the world's wealth and have been increasing the value of their assets at a significantly faster rate in recent years than before. This trend is becoming more and more apparent globally, but no study or analysis has addressed it in the Czech or Slovak environment in a comprehensive manner so far. “We therefore decided to analyse this phenomenon for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The aim of the project is to bring the issue of women's ownership and succession to the advisory market, to open a discussion among the lay and professional public and to answer a number of related questions in the following stages of the project," said Jaroslav Havel, the managing partner of the law firm.

It is the first study that addresses the topic in the context of the local market and offers a more comprehensive view of the trend of the transfer of wealth to women visible abroad, supported by multiple research, statistics and data analyses from foreign and local sources, taking into account the history, local specifics, social and economic conditions, and Czech and Slovak legislation.

HAVEL & PARTNERS, in cooperation with the research agency SC&C, presented a comprehensive summary of the socio-economic and demographic influences and conditions contributing to this trend in the Czech Republic. These are in particular:

  • Increasing number of university graduates among women – Since 2014, the number of women with a university degree has exceeded the number of men with a degree. By 2030, there could be more than 1,140,000 women with the highest level of education in the Czech Republic.
  • More women in top positions – Within economically active population, the number of women in top positions has increased by 3% between 2015 and now (2015: 35.500, 2021: 36.500) and could increase by another 3% by 2030, according to SC&C.
  • A growing number of women with a trade licence – Over the last five years, the number of women doing business based on a trade licence has increased by 7% to more than 750,000. SC&C estimates that by 2030, this number could increase approximately by another 11% to more than 850,000.
  • Increasing wages and salaries – Median wages among men increased by 52% between 2011 and 2021, while women's median wages increased by 62% over the same period.

According to the NextŽeny analysis, women can be expected to become increasingly successful in the coming years and increase their wealth as a result.

The study also includes an analysis of the impact of intergenerational transfer of wealth, as precisely in these situations there has been a fundamental relocation of property ownership. A model of inheritance among a group of owners of the largest family firms and the richest Czechs and Slovaks in compliance with the law analyses whether the transfer of property to women will be a relevant topic in the Czech and Slovak environment in the case of changes in ownership through succession in the coming years.

The firm's team specialising in services to private clients prepared a detailed analysis of their family and financial situation and then modelled what a sudden transfer of assets from one generation to the next would look like if the statutory rules were applied. Currently, the majority of wealth is nominally owned by men, but the inheritance transfer model showed that in the future, between 48% and 70% of wealth could shift to women in the target groups in the research.

Although these figures only concern specific limited groups and only take into account the transfer of property in line with the law, the results suggest that women should be considered as potential successors to the current owners.

"According to our analysis, the trend of transferring property into the hands of women, which has long been observed abroad, is also beginning to manifest itself in the Czech and Slovak environments and we expect it to continue in the coming years. For many women, the management and efficient use of their own assets is currently, or will be in the near future, a major issue or challenge. Therefore, we already see the issue of female ownership and succession as crucial for the years to come," said David Neveselý, a partner at HAVEL & PARTNERS, who leads a specialised private client services team.

International studies point out that women and men approach financial and wealth management differently. Women are not inclined towards risky investments, prefer more conservative capital protection, and manage their assets through passive investment strategies. They make long-term investments in line with their goals and beliefs. In their investments, they take into account environmental, social and governance aspects, for example. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, however, no research has looked into the specific approach of women and men to property ownership and management in a comprehensive manner so far.

"If we want to be successful as advisors and provide services that comprehensively cover the requirements of our male and female clients in business and private matters, we need to understand and map their specific needs. We will therefore follow up on the initial NextŽeny study in 2023 with a survey in the Czech Republic and Slovakia that will focus on the tendencies and decision-making processes of women and men directly related to the management of their assets. We will also involve other important partners in the survey, thanks to which the survey will have an overlap into other relevant areas," added Veronika Dvořáková, a Partner and the Marketing Director at HAVEL & PARTNERS.

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