Having just begun to recover after the 2008 financial crisis, financial markets again faced setbacks in 2011 and 2012, further hindering recovery. Economic conditions such as low growth rates, high levels of unemployment, rising government debt, low U.S. interest rates and the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe, as well as volatile equity markets in developing markets such as Asia-Pacific, were key culprits.
In addition to these external constraints, the global wealth management industry also faces industry-specific challenges: cost-to-income ratios have been steadily rising; a dearth of skilled advisors is negatively impacting wealth managers around the globe; and intensifying regulatory focus is increasing risks and costs. These factors are all having an impact on the ability of wealth managers to generate profits while matching the expectations of clients who are becoming more risk-averse, price-sensitive and engaged.
Despite these challenges, there are opportunities for wealth management firms. This paper explores three key trends for wealth managers, and discusses ways to turn opportunities into new business.