I noted with interest the apparently big news this week that the European Union and Switzerland had signed a tax transparency agreement, finally putting to rest the long-loved but misleading concept of Swiss banking secrecy. At least it is now a thing of the past for EU residents. For most other regions of the world, the window of opportunity will gradually close, too—just not yet.
Talking to wealth management executives through the years, they have all been at pains to say how they know their clients, how these clients have been with them for years, and how the client is at the heart of everything they do. Sounds very client-centric, doesn't it? Except, in almost everything else, discussions nearly always turn to an institution-centric view. The firm does this, likes that, has a problem here, and so on. The client is almost forgotten as the conversation focuses on the internal-out (institution-centric) view, not the external-in (client-centric) one.
Two quite different partnership deals were announced this week that highlight an area where we believe there will be increased activity in the global wealth management sector: partnership and collaboration. First, thematic-focused online investment firm Motif Investing partnered with global clearing and custody house Pershing to extend its reach into international markets. Second, U.S.-based multifamily office, WE Family Offices (WE), formed a strategic alliance with Madrid-headquartered multifamily office MdF Family Partners (MdF).
Stephen Wall is a senior analyst with Aite Group, specializing in the global private banking and wealth management sector and its various sub-segments, including global and regional banks, independent wealth managers, and family offices. His main areas of focus are the sector's business and competitive landscape across onshore and offshore jurisdictions and its evolving demands and influences, among them new markets, competition, client demands, regulation, and technology.