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Wealth Management Industry – Way Forward

 

Title: Wealth Management Challenges - Description: Challenges before Wealth Management OrganizationChallenges

Up until 2007 the global personal wealth was rising to record levels. This rising wealth provided the wealth management industry an unprecedented opportunity to serve the ever growing client base and thus the industry was witnessing very good growth rates.

 

But this steady rise of the Wealth Management Industry is facing massive challenges as the effects of the Global Economic Crisis which began in 2008 and is continuing till today.

The reason why the HNI and Ultra HNI were severely hit by this crisis are:

1.    High exposure to Equities:  The High and Ultra High-Net-worth Individuals have the highest percentage exposure to the Stock Market of their total wealth.

2.    Drop in Property Prices: Traditionally property provided a hedge against stock market crashes but in this crisis the Property Markets also declined sharply along with the Stock Markets.

3.    Occupation of the Wealthy: The wealthier individuals usually work more in the Banking and Real Estate Sectors and these sectors are really severely hit by the Global Financial Crisis.

So the HNI and Ultra HNI segments are facing a double whammy one their investments in stock and real estate have depreciated to record low levels and second their current income sources also came from the same sectors.

This has led to client level challenges for the wealth management industry one their existing AUM have declined and second their flow of young up-and-coming clients has slowed down due to remuneration declines and unemployment.

Opportunities

But it is not only Dark Clouds for the Wealth Management Industry there are rays of hope and optimism also. These are:

1.    Only a small proportion to global wealth is being serviced by the Wealth Management Industry

2.    Wealth Managers with proven skills and expertise are well positioned to capture clients from less skilled service providers.

3.    The Global Crisis has made many individuals less confident about their own decision making regarding investment decisions.

4.    Smaller Players in Wealth Management sphere are exiting the market and there is consolidation happening.

Title: Road Blocks to Wealth Management - Description: Threats to Wealth Management IndustryThe Client Desires

The challenges and opportunities enumerated above makes it very important that the Wealth Management Organizations understand their target markets and the psychology of their clients.

They must understand the expectation and desires of their clients and benchmark their offerings accordingly.

Clients Investment Priorities and Concerns

       The main focus of wealth management among all client segments is to maximise capital growth; with a high interest in income generation too.

       Tax and stock market downturns are considered the biggest threats to wealth among older investors; the young view redundancy as their biggest wealth threat.

       Simple Tax-Saving Strategies – such as pensions and IRA’s – are preferred.

Wealth Management Services Used

       Independent financial advisers are more widely being used than firms that position themselves as wealth managers.

       Younger potential clients use a wealth management service as a one-stop shop.

       Poor service and poor communication are the key reasons for dissatisfaction with a wealth manager.

Selecting a Wealth Manager

       Personal or professional referral is the most important factor for both age groups when shortlisting a potential wealth manager.

       Prestige, brand and international presence also scored highly among under-35s.

       When making the final selection, quality of assigned advisers, performance track record and experience with similar clients were the most important factors.

Investment Preferences

       Potential clients in both age groups favour an advisory portfolio management approach where every investment transaction is first approved by the client. So discretionary mandates are declining and Clients are increasingly becoming more active in the investment decision making process.

       Clients are increasingly going for a customized portfolio creation than just investing in model portfolios.

       Overall, clients want to focus on core asset classes such as equities and bonds, with less interest in non-core instruments. Younger clients show marginally more interest in specialist areas such as emerging markets.

Remuneration

Performance-based fees are by far the most preferred method of paying for wealth management, with commission deducted from product charges coming a distant second.