Wealth management is the part of financial service devoted to financial planning and investment management fo r the world’s wealthiest individuals. Arguably, this is the most personal of all financial services, dealing with the world’s most complex individuals, often on very sensitive personal issues. And yet, this industry, that has a potential global client base of 12 million individuals around the world, on very limited data for very many years. For more than a decade this industry has planned business growth knowing how many wealthy people there are around the world, and how wealthy they are, but knowing virtually nothing about the needs, wants, hopes, dreams and anxieties of those clients. Client interaction has been filtered through a front line of staff incentivised to sell investment products and client segmentation at best has been intuitive. The reality of the client centricity of wealth management is a far cry from the image the industry likes to play and that is almost exclusively down to a lack of data.
To give you a sense of the scale of the knowledge gap, this chart illustrates how much liquid wealth the world’s HNW population has, and how much of it is currently managed by wealth management firms. So, even though wealth management is a multi-trillion dollar business, there is a strong argument that the business has yet to fully recognise its potential for meeting customers real needs.