Assets Under Management (AUM) at the top 25 global wealth management operators grew 17.0% on average this year, finds Scorpio Partnership’s 2018 Global Private Banking Benchmark. This means the top 25 operators now collectively manage 16.2 trillion dollars.
Just as a rising tide raises all boats, wealth managers were able to capitalize on favourable market conditions in 2017 as a core driver of growth. The FTSE All-World Index advanced nearly 22% during the year and global economic growth was estimated to have reached 3%, an uptick from 2.4% in 2016.
However, there were also positive indicators that firms achieved greater success in drawing additional assets from new and existing clients in 2017. On average, the contribution of Net New Money to AUM, which was flat in 2016, rose to 4.3% in 2017 for those firms who declared this data.
China Merchants Bank gained two positions, taking over Northern Trust and Pictec. BNP Paribas, Safra Sarasin Group, Banco Santander and Credit Agricole are the few non-American firms.
Asian firms grew the most, with a median increase in AUM of 15.2%, versus the 7.5% European ones got and the 13.8% from the Americans.
“Conditions have been exceptionally positive for global wealth management in the last 12 months, but wealth firms must also be given credit for starting to find new revenue” says Caroline Burkart, Director at Scorpio Partnership. “Our client engagement assessments throughout 2017 have indicated that client sentiment is on the up which is inevitable when markets are good.
Wealth firms should put processes in place now to measure and respond to customer feedback, so that when the next market downturn occurs, they have the insight they need to continue delivering a compelling client experience. A handful of wealth firms are starting to publish their client satisfaction data, highlighting that this is creeping up the agenda as a complementary measure to financial performance.”
Asia’s wealth managers achieved the most significant gains this year, with average AUM growth of 15.2% (in base reporting currency), compared to 7.5% among European operators and 13.8% among firms based in the Americas. Many wealth managers present in Asia continued to increase their focus in this region in 2017. In several emerging markets, strategic acquisitions contributed to inorganic growth in AUM.
Most notably, Bank of China – a new entrant to the top 25 table last year – stood out by reporting double-digit growth for a second consecutive year. The firm attributed its success to effective marketing, customer developed client profiles and proposition enhancements.