Article image

Global Wealth 2012: The Battle to Regain Strength


May 2012
Alternative Business Models: New Pressures on Wealth Managers

Traditional wealth managers must find ways to cope with, and potentially emulate, new business models—such as external asset managers—that are outside the mainstream.

The global wealth-management industry is at a crossroads of sorts. While mature markets are experiencing either slow or negative growth, developing markets are riding a wave of very strong momentum. These broad trends are likely to continue, even if equity markets rebound in the coming years. The question is one of direction: should established players in the “old world” look eastward or southward for fresh opportunities, or should they adopt new strategies and business models in an effort to capture untapped potential at home? Should institutions in the “new world” concentrate solely on their own burgeoning regions, or should they also try to compete with entrenched institutions abroad?

BCG’s twelfth annual report on the global wealth-management industry explores these questions, and also examines the current size of the market, the present dynamics of offshore banking, the performance levels of leading institutions, the emergence of alternative business models, and key trends that all players must adapt to. Ultimately, wealth managers must continue to find ways to raise their performance in a climate of volatile equity and bond markets, increasingly demanding clients, and ever-watchful regulatory agencies.