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2011 wealth management study - investing in the future - Distribution channels - EY - United States

2011 wealth management study - investing in the future

Distribution channels

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Wealth management firms are investing in additional service channels because the reliance on the wealth management advisor for client service is costly.

Advisors (and branches) were the largest source of new asset inflows — significantly more so than any other channel.

Invest in your employees

Wealth management advisors are clearly critical to the success of a wealth management firm's growth and operating results.

Not surprisingly, over 80% of wealth management firms reported that they invested most in the wealth management advisor distribution channel over the past year.

None of the wealth management firms reported making the greatest investment in the online self-directed channel.

What proportion of new assets were brought in through each of the following distribution channels in the past year?

What proportion of new assets were brought in through each of the following distribution channels in the past year?

SegmentBaseYour individual
advisors/ branches
Third-party
advisor
Online (selfdirected)
$1b-$49b(11)85%9%6%
$50b-$150b(12)67%33%0%
Over $150b(11)79%14%7%
High-net-worth(20)78%21%1%
Mass-market(15)75%17%8%
Under 100k(20)77%21%2%
Over 100k(12)77%17%6%

Source: Greenwich Associates
Note: Chart based on 35 respondents.

In which of the following distribution channels has your firm made the greatest investment in the past year?

In which of the following distribution channels has your firm made the greatest investment in the past year?

SegmentBaseAdvisory accountsCommission-based
HNW*(19)69%31%
MM*(16)57%43%

*HNW – high-net-worth; MM – mass-market

Source: Greenwich Associates
Note: Chart based on 38 respondents.

Advisory vs. commission-based accounts

Across all of the wealth management firms we interviewed, investment product professionals reported that an average of two-thirds of assets under management are held within advisory accounts.

A higher proportion of assets held in advisory accounts were reported by firms focused on high-net-worth clients as compared to those wealth management firms focused on mass-market clients.

All wealth management firms expect an increase in advisory accounts next year.

What proportion of assets under management are in advisory versus commission-based accounts?

What proportion of assets under management are in advisory versus commission-based accounts?

Source: Greenwich Associates
Note: Chart based on 35 respondents.

How do you anticipate this mix will change in the next year?

How do you anticipate this mix will change in the next year?

SegmentBaseNo changeIncrease –
commision-based
Increase –
advisory accounts
HNW*(20)55%0%45%
MM*(15)40%0%60%

*HNW – high-net-worth; MM – mass-market

Source: Greenwich Associates
Note: Chart based on 35 respondents.

Primary service channels

Wealth management firms are investing in additional service channels because the reliance on the wealth management advisor for client service is costly. These channels include improving online servicing capabilities and leveraging dedicated service teams and call centers.

Which of the following are the primary service channels through which your firm services end clients?

Which of the following are the primary service channels through which your firm services end clients?

Source: Greenwich Associates
Note: Chart based on 39 respondents. Percentages do not total
to 100% due to multiple responses by survey respondents.

In which of the following servicing channels are you planning to invest in the next year?

In which of the following servicing channels are you planning to invest in the next year?

Source: Greenwich Associates
Note: Chart based on 34 respondents. Percentages do not total to
100% due to multiple responses by survey respondents.

Strategies to improve online capabilities

Nearly 90% of wealth management firms are employing strategies to improve online capabilities to help service end clients — more to improve client reporting than for research/ advice and wealth planning (though the proportion of firms investing there is not trivial).

The investments in client reporting not only improve the client experience, but are clearly important to reduce the administrative burden on the wealth management advisor.

Is your firm employing strategies to improve its online capabilities for end clients?

Is your firm employing strategies to improve its online capabilities for end clients?

Source: Greenwich Associates
Note: Chart based on 38 respondents.

[If yes] Identify the methods your firm is taking to improve this capability?

[If yes] Identify the methods your firm is taking to improve this capability?

Source: Greenwich Associates
Note: Chart based on 34 respondents. Percentages do not total to 100% due to multiple responses by survey respondents.

 


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Investing in the future - 2011 US wealth management study: a focus on product and client trends

Contact us:

Hank Prybylski
FSO Advisory Leader
Ernst & Young LLP
New York, NY
+1 212 773 2823

Anthony Caterino
Partner, Americas Wealth Management
Ernst & Young LLP
Charlotte, NC
+1 704 331 1851

Alan Fish
Partner, Americas Asset Management
Ernst & Young LLP
New York, NY
+1 212 773 6560

Marcelo Fava
Principal, Americas Wealth Management
Ernst & Young LLP
Charlotte, NC
+1 704 350 9124



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