A spate of recent news stories has revealed an interesting trend in the wealth management market. Several large banks are making significant investments and shifting their strategies with the intent of growing their presence in this lucrative industry segment. Following are some examples of banks that have recently unveiled their plans:
- Credit Suisse Group AG recently indicated that it will be reducing the size of its investment banking division, while allocating more capital to its wealth management operations, according to InvestmentNews. The bank’s larger competitor, UBS Group AG, has made similar moves, shrinking investment banking in favor of managing the assets of wealthy clients.
- Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canada’s second-largest lender, is aiming to expand its U.S. wealth management business, according to Reuters. The bank plans to leverage its retail presence in 14 states from Maine to Florida to turn a million of its existing banking customers– both high net worth and mass affluent– into wealth management clients.
- As reported by InvestmentNews, Royal Bank of Canada agreed to buy City National Corp., the Los Angeles-based “banker to the stars.” This is part of RBS’s efforts to increase its penetration of the U.S. wealth management market, particularly in California.
- Bank of the West has made strategic key hires and is directing more funding toward a new ultra-high net worth wealth management division it plans to launch, according to an article in FundFire. The new unit will provide wealth management services to clients and family offices with assets over $25 million.
What are some potential challenges?
Wealth management is clearly an attractive business to be in for banks like these, but to achieve greater market penetration, they will have to overcome some significant challenges.
One of these is management of their brands and messaging. Customers’ familiarity with commercial and investment banks revolves around their core services and the value they deliver in those areas. Extending their brands to accommodate a new or recently built-up wealth management division can be tricky business.
To help attract, win and retain high net worth clients, which elements of the parent bank’s brand should get carried over to the new entity? What additional value proposition elements or different messages are required? How will those new materials be created, made available to advisors, and managed going forward? Banks need to have these items buttoned up before taking the plunge into wealth management.
Another challenge is consistently providing the high-quality client experiences that high net worth customers expect. With many advisors working out of satellite or branch offices with varying levels of tools, training, and access to information, the quality of the client experience can vary widely from one advisor and one office to the next. To build up their ultra-HNW, HNW and even mass affluent advice businesses, banks’ new wealth management arms need to nail the client experience, and do so reliably and consistently.
How can firms deliver the best client experience?
A new class of content automation solutions is giving banks’ wealth management arms effective ways to manage their brands and messaging, and powerful tools that enable their advisors to deliver top-quality client experiences from anywhere at any time.
These systems enable advisors to present relevant content and materials to the right clients or prospective clients at the appropriate time. They can be powerful weapons in the fight for mindshare and wallet-share in the wealth management space. In an ever-changing wealth management space where the client matters more than ever, content automation solutions continue to facilitate the best possible client interaction.