PricewaterhouseCoopers Wealth Management Survey
Some 49 per cent of wealth managers expect to increase the number of ultra-high-net worth clients in the next three years. Competition will therefore be toughest at the top of the triangle. Investment performance was volatile during the past two years, says the report, and many of the world's wealthy saw significant falls in the value of their portfolios.
Private banks in North America and Europe lost clients because of poor investment performance - but clients still ranked overall financial goals and investment objectives as more important than investment performance. The world's wealthy are measuring private wealth managers against benchmarks and are likely to change providers because of service that does not meet their needs. Lack of proactive advice and high charges are the other two reasons clients desert their banks.
The survey defines four types of client sought by the private banks:
Few wealth managers know their clients and their needs well. Developing a deeper understanding of client needs and building a holistic approach to handling clients will be the key to competitiveness.
Segmentation is becoming ever more important and only those private banks which can match products and clients efficiently will be long-term winners.
Wealth managers need to restructure their client service operations to create the personalised service that will attract and retain the wealthiest clients.
The key to success will be expert and motivated relationship managers, who will be technically trained on products and services, as well as marketing and selling skills. However, "softer skills" required to closely manage client relationships are
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