2012 was an interesting year for global wealth management. The global economy continued to rebalance, offering new client opportunities but turbulent markets provided volatile returns. New communication technologies fell short as cost outweighed return. All this occurred as Bank of America Merrill Lynch divested its international wealth management operation to Julius Baer.
Analyse the global trends that characterized the 2012 wealth management industry.
Learn how competitors reacted to the years challenges.
Understand how the balance of global wealth shifted in 2012.
What were the industry realities of 2012?
How did the regulatory environment impact the industry in 2012?
Who was most active in M&A, product innovation, or staffing?
How did the balance of the global wealth market change?
Morgan Stanley was the most active "retrencher" in 2012. It began to show signs of a move back to its core US market, following Bank of America. US banks are struggling to compete with local players, and better established foreign firms in Asia Pacific. Swiss banks enjoy a level of prestige among Asia Pacific HNWs that the US banks do not.
A large proportion of product innovation was located in the US in 2012. This was led by tablet and mobile innovations. Further afield, despite predictions that tablets and smartphones would revolutionize wealth management, uptake was muted.
A war raged for advisor teams in the US. Wells Fargo poached numerous broker and advisor teams from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Raymond James, and UBS Wealth Management Americas. As the Dodd Frank Act increased operating demands of registered investment advisors, US firms have launched support networks to encourage assets onto their books.