Friday, June 26, 2009


Merrill/Capgemini Versus Independents: Where Is the Money Going?

In 2008, high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) spread their assets among more wealth management firms, and said they would be less likely to do business with registered independent advisory firms in the near future, according to “World Wealth Report 2009,” a study released by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Wednesday morning. The finding has generated interest—and debate—among wealth management professionals who say that independents are still holding their own when it comes to attracting and retaining clients.

Wealthy clients’ use of independent advisors will drop by 8% in 2009 and beyond, according to the study. The revelation of several fraud-related scandals, and the need for tighter internal controls at wealth management firms have pushed clients to diversify the types of companies that manage their money, said researchers. Twenty-seven percent of wealthy clients surveyed for the study said they withdrew assets from their primary advisory firm in 2008. “Clients are saying, ‘I need a firm that has risk management and due diligence to ensure that where I am investing my money is solid’,” said Ileana van der Linde, a principal in the wealth management practice for Capgemini Financial Services USA, the company that partnered with Merrill Lynch for the study...

BIC: Merrill/Capgemini Versus Independents: Where Is the Money Going?

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