Legacy and philanthropy has changed for younger HNW Canadians: survey

By Staff | June 12, 2018 | Last updated on June 12, 2018
2 min read

The next generation of high-net-worth (HNW) Canadians plans to make more of an impact on the world than older generations, says a new study by RBC Management.

The new Canadian legacy” survey, conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit for RBC, surveyed 1,051 HNW individuals about the meaning of legacy and wealth across regions, genders and generations. The survey included 259 Canadians with at least $1.29 million in investable assets. The survey classifies “younger” HNW investors as those between the ages of 18 and 53; “older” ones are 54 and over.

Defining legacy

The survey found the following:

  • When asked to define legacy, 75% of older Canadians were likely to use the word “family,” compared to 50% of younger Canadians.
  • 71% of younger Canadians want to leave a different legacy than their parents versus 65% of older Canadians.

Read: Advisors have new resource to serve philanthropic needs of HNW clients


When it comes to social responsibility, the study found:

  • 66% of younger Canadians said they feel a responsibility to use their wealth to benefit the broader society compared with 51% of older Canadians;
  • younger Canadians prefer to donate to children/youth causes, human rights and scientific endeavours such as space exploration while older Canadians prefer to donate to poverty reduction and religion; and
  • 36% of older Canadians prefer to make one-time donations versus 11% of younger Canadians.

“These results are not surprising as younger Canadians tend to be more personally involved and invested in their charitable efforts from start to finish,” said Tony Maiorino, head of RBC Wealth Management Services, in a release. “They’re not so interested in simply writing a cheque. They want to see it through, monitor the results and actually know that they have made a positive difference.”

Transferring wealth to the next generation

The sense of obligation to transfer wealth also differs among the generations, according to the study:

  • 71% of younger Canadians feel a stronger obligation to transfer their wealth compared with 54% of the older generations; and
  • 67% of younger business owners want their children to take over the business versus 31% of older Canadians.

Read the full report here.

Also read:

What aging HNW clients mean for wealth management

High-net-worth firms to make more direct investments: report

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.