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Wealth management trends to watch out for in 2017

Industrial Market Research

The Global Wealth Management Trends to watch in 2017 report informs wealth managers and their strategy teams of the key developments emerging across the industry and how best to respond to these changes.

The report examines developments across a number of key areas, from regulation, to product and service trends, to asset allocation drivers.

Specifically, the report Analyzes the impact of regulatory developments on the industry, looking in particular at MiFID II in Europe and tax amnesties across the world.

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Companies Mentioned: Delio, BlackRock, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Trulioo, AQMetrics, The DAO, SweePay, Barclays, Commonwealth Bank Australia, Wells Fargo, Royal Mint, CME Group, Citigroup, Citi Private Bank, Investment Migration Council, Betterment, Charles Schwab, Vanguard Asset Management, Scalable Capital, Eaton Vance, Nasdaq, State Street, Magellen, Centric Wealth, Arthur J Gallagher, Finaccord, Lloyds Bank, Wealth front, XY Planning Network, UBS, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, OCBC, Bank of Singapore, BoA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Julius Baer, HSBC, Money farm.

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Global uncertainty will continue to keep investors busy in 2017. Most notably, ongoing Brexit negotiations, the effects of the Italian referendum, and a new presidency in the US will contribute to ongoing market volatility.

On top of that 40% of the EU economy is going to the polls in 2017 – as the support for populist and right-wing ideas that reject globalization and free trade continues to grow, this has the potential to further upset financial markets.

The wealth management industry has been undergoing transformation since the financial crisis, and 2017 will be another year marked with changes to business models and the way providers interact with clients. Many trends observed in 2016 will continue over the next 12 months, with regulation and its costs affecting the financial performance of competitors, and market volatility (often fueled by surprising turns in the geopolitical landscape) keeping portfolio managers busy.

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Yet 2017 will also be a year of opportunity for competitors that embrace the change and succeed in those areas of the market where growth can be achieved. On a global scale HNW demand for equities and alternatives is on the rise, while demand for bonds is expected to decrease.

North America in particular stands out, with an average of 49% and 48% of HNW wealth invested in this asset class in Canada and the US respectively. The only country that is home to even more enthusiastic equity investors is the UK, where HNW investors hold a noteworthy 57% of their wealth in equities.

HNW investors are becoming more inclined to seek professional investment advice.

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More than four fifths of wealth managers globally agree that HNW investors are becoming more inclined to seek professional investment advice because of market volatility. This trend is magnified by HNW investors’ increasingly complex portfolios and growing allocations into alternatives, given that taken together a desire to manage simple asset classes themselves and investments in non-financial assets constitute the main reason why HNW investors selfdirect.

HNW investors globally are looking for cheap buying opportunities in the equity space as volatility continues.

Undoubtedly, there has been significant market upheaval, which is unlikely to subside going into 2017. Despite this we are not seeing a move towards safe havens such as bonds or gold in the HNW space.

On the contrary, HNW investors are looking for cheap buying opportunities. In fact, 52.2% of wealth managers agree that demand for equities is forecast to rise, while only 23.9% expect demand to decrease.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • 2017 will add to the challenges the wealth management industry is facing
  • Key findings
  • Critical success factors.

Asset Allocation Trends

  • Managing portfolio risk is becoming more important than ever
  • HNW investors are significantly exposed to equity risk
  • Equities and alternatives will be the clear winners in 2017 despite turbulent market conditions
  • Global uncertainties will determine asset allocation strategies in 2017
  • HNW investors globally are looking for cheap buying opportunities in the equity space as volatility continues
  • HNW investors' varying attitudes towards risks will have an effect on asset allocation strategies
  • Portfolio diversification benefits will drive demand for alternatives but a certain level of hand holding is required.

Regulatory Trends

  • The industry will be preparing for MiFID II in the EU
  • New rules are aimed at increasing transparency and investor protection
  • Competitors differ in terms of how ready they are for the new regime
  • Fee transparency will have the greatest impact on wealth managers
  • Ultimately, the new regime should benefit the industry
  • Local regulations continue to affect the wealth management market
  • CRM II will enforce fee transparency in Canada
  • Changes to non-dom regulations will stir up the UK wealth market
  • A growing number of tax amnesty programs can shake up the offshore industry
  • The Indonesian tax amnesty will hit Singapore, but may boost the local wealth market
  • Argentina's tax amnesty may boost the bond market
  • The success of South Africa's tax amnesty will be subject to the performance of the British pound
  • Regtech will have a more prevalent role in the wealth management industry
  • Regulatory compliance is a top priority for financial services providers
  • Regtech companies will target wealth and asset managers
  • Regtech will be supported by financial regulators
  • Regulation is the biggest hurdle for block chain adoption
  • The failure of The DAO highlights the risks of block chain
  • Wealth managers will take greater interest in block chain adoption.

Customer Targeting Trends

  • Internationally active clients will be an attractive target for wealth managers
  • Chinese HNW investor migration is increasing
  • Investor visas will encourage partnerships between wealth managers and governments
  • The Brexit negotiations will determine the UK's future as a wealth hub
  • The future robo-advisor client is an experienced investor open to alternatives
  • Robo-advice platforms are no longer developed only by startups
  • HNW demand for robo-advice platforms will increase
  • Wealth managers will target experienced investors who value multi-channel guidance
  • Wealth managers will target customers with niche services.

Product and Service Trends

  • ETFs have become the standard for passive investments, but active investments are now in investors' sights
  • ETFs' AUM exceeded $3tn at the start of 2016
  • Actively managed ETFs will provide real competition for mutual funds, not equities
  • Factors fueling the rise have been varied and will support actively managed ETF inflows
  • ETMFs expand the universe of low-cost investments but appeal to investors seeking alpha as well.

Competitive Trends

  • An aging advisor base will further spur industry consolidation
  • Motivated sellers with few new advisors to take on practices require industry buyouts
  • Key IFA markets are seeing a wave of baby boomers about to retire, with insufficient fresh blood
  • Appetite for wealth management networks has waned, limiting disposal options to big national networks or cash-rich new players
  • Global wealth managers will feel ongoing pressure from local players
  • Top wealth managers will continue to lose market share among HNW investors
  • Competition for client assets will be fierce as HNW investors consider their options
  • Smaller players show better net new money growth than giants
  • The giants will not compete for market share at all costs. 

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