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Where can wealth managers find opportunity when assets are in flux?

Increased asset movement creates opportunities for wealth managers to grow while preparing for clients’ evolving strategies.

In brief

  • A large proportion of wealth management clients plan to work with multiple providers by 2025.
  • Clients are more selective in the providers they choose – and FinTechs are one of the biggest beneficiaries.
  • Firms need the right strategies to capture more money in motion and avoid the threat of wallet erosion.

The 2023 EY Global Wealth Research Report reveals that nearly half of all wealth management clients worldwide (44%) are planning to change their provider relationships over the next three years – either by adding a new provider (14%), by moving money to another provider (21%) or by switching providers altogether (9%).

Furthermore, clients are planning to move a lot of their money. More than half of those expecting to shake up their relationships plan to move in excess of a quarter of their assets to a different provider; 11% expect to transfer the majority of their funds. 

In other words, one in four wealth management clients around the world expect to move a material slice of their wealth between providers by the end of 2025. If that forecast proves accurate, the amount of money in motion could be measured in billions.

The effect could be even greater in some regions. A majority of wealth management clients in Asia-Pacific (57%), the Middle East (59%) and Latin America (62%) expect to move assets, add new providers or switch outright during the next three years. And while clients in North America are less likely than average to switch (25%), when they do so, they are more likely than others (18%) to move the majority of their assets, so the scale of capital transfer could still be significant.

Clients have always switched between wealth managers, but what’s new is investors’ increasing willingness to spread their assets over a larger number of firms. Far from consolidating their assets in search of simplicity, clients are becoming more inclined to shop around in search of the expert advice and support they need to make sense of a challenging environment.

This shift in behavior could have a far-reaching impact on the industry. The research shows an average anticipated increase of 12% in the number of providers that investors expect to work with over the next three years. This is, in effect, a prediction for falling average wallet share.

These findings prompt three questions:

1. Why is this happening?

The answer lies in the increasing complexity facing investors. Worldwide, 40% of clients think managing their wealth has grown more complex in the last two years, and 45% say the same about their investing needs. “That’s partly due to the exceptional market volatility of 2022 and early 2023, but it also reflects the increasing variety and sophistication of the investment universe.” Unsurprisingly, clients’ leading motives for switching are centered on the desire to manage their risks and returns better. The biggest drivers identified by the survey are investment performance (18%), diversification (14%) and market volatility (13%).

2. Where are clients planning to move their money?

The research shows that the desire for specialization is shaping the kind of wealth management providers that clients want to work with in future. Every type of wealth manager will have an opportunity to expand their client base between now and 2025, but it’s FinTechs that are expected to be the biggest beneficiaries on a relative basis compared to other provider segments.

Clients’ increasing appetite for digital engagement, and their growing interest in digital assets like cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), go some way toward explaining this. But, investors are also attracted to FinTechs’ low-friction experiences, competitive fees and ease of onboarding.

3. How should wealth managers react to these findings?

Firms will come under increasing pressure to deliver best-in-class client experiences – while, at the same time, being pushed to reduce per-client costs by wallet share erosion. In response, wealth managers need to sharpen their ability to provide personalized engagement, more frequently. Traditional in-person interactions and digital experiences remain important, but responding to clients’ openness to engage virtually will increasingly become a differentiator. They must be ready to seize the opportunities provided by this moment of flux – whether by acting as their clients’ primary provider or perhaps by working with other agile players in the wealth management ecosystem to deliver outstanding experiences.

2023 Global Wealth Research Report

Take a more detailed look at the drivers putting money in motion, together with a range of potential strategic responses.


The next three years will see increasing asset flows between wealth managers, creating greater challenges – and growing opportunities – for every category of provider.