When I can get my younger cousins to look up from whichever gaming console they are using that makes my own 2005 Xbox 360 look ever more redundant, it is clear that the younger generations (Generation Z and after them Generation Alpha) have a very different mindset on certain issues.
My cousins talk about their peers being called out in social circles for using single use plastics. Bank of America's research indicates less than half of Gen Z drinks alcohol and over half have some kind of meat restriction. These are fundamental shifts in behaviour coming through in more than just my own limited experience.
Combining this with Bank of America's valuation of Gen Z's income at £33tn by 2030, it is obvious that Gen Z represent both a significant business and market risk and opportunity. This will impact both corporates and the financial sector, with the former being expected to amend business strategies to align with new values and the latter being expected to ensure that they are investing and managing Gen Z's wealth in a way that supports their mindset, goals and desired impacts.
Now clearly not every member of Gen Z is a Mark McVeigh, who at 23 took his superannuation fund to court seeking information on integration of climate change impacts. However, the research makes a compelling case and one that needs to be considered by all companies going forwards.
“The Gen Z revolution is starting, as the first generation born into an online world is now entering the workforce and compelling other generations to adapt to them, not vice versa,” Haim Israel, managing director of research at Bank of America said in a client note