The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community represents a multi-trillion dollar opportunity for wealth managers and advisers, according to estimates from advisers specialising in the area.
The campaign to legalise gay marriage in Australia has received the support of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd after he said that a secular state should be able to recognise same sex marriage. A change from his previous view.
His comments, and the wider debate around gay marriage, highlight the need for advisers with specific skills in understanding the financial and legal needs of same sex couples.
A report in FTfm, the Financial Times' weekly funds management supplement, pointed to figures from the UK's Office for National Statistics which show that typical two-parent families have fallen from 51% of the population in 1961 to 36% in 2009.
LGBT Capital is an asset manager that specialises in providing financial services to the LGBT community.
"It's very clear that the LGBT market needs advice from people who understand their specific needs," LGBT Capital founder Paul Thompson told the Financial Times.
The group launched LGBT Wealth, the first wealth manager focused on the LGBT community in Asia in February. As attitudes in the region have become more liberal, the asset manager believes it can tap into a growing market.
According to the Financial Times, estimates suggest there are 200 million people in Asia who identify as LGBT, with spending power of around $800 billion. Globally, this population is estimated to be more than 400 million, with spending power of $3tn.
In December last year US wealth manager Morgan Stanley announced an LGBT initiative providing financial advisors with wealth planning tools, business development and marketing resources designed specifically for LGBT prospects and clients.
"In today's ever-changing financial and legal environment, it is important for LGBT couples to work with a wealth management organisation that specializes in LGBT wealth planning issues," said Morgan Stanley head of US field management Douglas J. Ketterer.