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2020: Trends to Watch in Wealth Management

The wealth management market is unsettled in 2020. Expected growth in equities and offshore investment bodes well for growth in fees and client assets. However, even as the outlook perks up the risks have been growing more pronounced. This includes industry-specific pitfalls such as increased competition and new digital players, as well as geopolitical issues.

This report informs wealth managers and their strategy teams of the key developments emerging across the industry and how best to respond to these changes. It examines in detail key areas such as regulation, HNW asset allocation strategies, customer targeting, and cybersecurity. The analysis supported by findings from our propriety surveys of wealth managers and investors.


– After a strong 2019, we expect to see further growth in offshore wealth. 50% of wealth managers expect demand to increase while a mere 9% forecast a decrease.

– Hybrid services will remain the most sought after robo-advice model, as having the best of both worlds is in high demand among investors. Continuous expansion is becoming common among all robo-advisors, and this is likely to continue going forward.

– Competition across Asia Pacific has stepped up and will increase in 2020, with experienced advisors hotly contested in Hong Kong and Singapore as well as more regional markets.

– There will be greater focus on ensuring affluent and HNW clients’ credit needs are met. The use of technology will make specialist lending more accessible and economic for clients outside of the UHNW space.

Reasons to Buy

– Understand the key trends impacting the wealth management industry in 2020 and how to respond.

– Discover the effect of the Common Reporting Standard on the offshore industry and how to benefit from the new trends.

– Understand the recommended approach to client portfolio strategies given current market conditions.

– Learn about risks resulting from the industry’s growing dependence on technology and how to hedge against cyber threats.

– Stay ahead of your competitors by reaching out to new emerging client demographics that offer huge revenue growth potential.

Companies Mentioned


Credit Suisse

DBS Bank



Deutsche Bank

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.1. Market summary

1.2. Key trends for 2020


2.1. Already strong demand for offshore investments will increase in 2020

2.1.1. 32.5% of HNW wealth is booked abroad, and the opportunity in this space is growing

2.1.2. Providing advice on taxation of international assets is becoming more important

2.1.3. The US-China trade war will continue to affect offshore wealth flows in 2020

2.1.4. A dire 2020 economic outlook will drive more South African wealth abroad

2.2. Equities and alternatives will be the clear winners in 2020 despite turbulent market conditions

2.2.1. A return to stocks does not mean recession fears have been banished by investors

2.2.2. An increased focus on predictability of returns and liquidity calls for a more balanced investment approach

2.2.3. A desire to maintain liquidity while achieving diversification will support demand for basic ETF and REIT products

2.3. The $8.6tn HNW wealth transfer offers wealth managers a significant opportunity

2.3.1. The opportunity is not spread equally across the globe, with North America accounting for more than half of HNW wealth forecast to change hands over the coming decade

2.3.2. Wealth managers have to adapt to a new generation of HNW clients

2.3.3. Technology laggards will lose the next generation of HNW clients to more innovative providers

2.3.4. Wealth managers looking to appeal to the next generation will have to review their service proposition

2.4. Competition for Asian wealth will intensify in 2020 as more competitors pile in

2.4.1. Margins in Asia will suffer but consolidation is unlikely in the short term


3.1. Traditional wealth and robo-advice services will blur

3.1.1. Hybrid services will be the most sought after robo-advice model

3.2. More robo-advisors will add to their product lineup

3.3. Automated investment services will be offered through non-financial services institutions

3.4. Private banks will invest heavily into technology to grow AUM and improve efficiencies

3.4.1. Collaborating with fintechs and bringing technology experts in-house will be beneficial

3.5. Technology is opening up the mass affluent investor to high-end wealth brands

3.5.1. Mass affluent AUM will approach $50tn globally in 2023

3.5.2. Major private banks in wider banking groups have long pursued the mass affluent

3.5.3. Wealth managers in Asia and North America are more bullish on the mass affluent opportunity

3.5.4. Asian banks have long been keen to develop programs for the pre-private bank market


4.1. Demand for SRI is increasing, and wealth managers need to respond

4.1.1. Many players are yet to offer SRI, but the service is becoming a must have

4.1.2. Governmental, societal, and environmental issues will lead investors to incorporate SRI into their portfolios

4.1.3. Demand for SRI remains low in Australia, but natural disasters are sparking increased demand

4.1.4. Traditional players will face SRI competition from digital players

4.2. Lending has become more of a priority for major wealth managers

4.2.1. Many wealth managers have stepped up lending to wealth clients or via their wealth divisions

4.2.2. Wealth managers lower down the wealth tiers are also prioritizing lending to investors

4.3. Cybersecurity will become more pronounced as technology grows in prevalence

4.3.1. Significant fines will force traditional and digital players to act


5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms

5.2. Secondary sources

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: HNW demand is forecast to increase in all but one country

Figure 2: Chinese offshore assets are heavily weighted towards property and equity

Figure 3: Equities and alternatives are forecast to experience the largest increase in HNW demand

Figure 4: Onshore HNW cash holdings declined over the review period

Figure 5: $4.5tn of HNW wealth will change hands in North America over the next 10 years

Figure 6: Uptake of automated investment channels rises in line with affluence

Figure 7: Asia is forecast to impress relative to other major regions even with downgrades in 2020

Figure 8: Younger generations show a greater preference for online and mobile communication

Figure 9: The majority of global wealth managers see partnering with startups as an opportunity

Figure 10: Global mass affluent assets grew by over 5% in three of the past four years

Figure 11: The diversified banks among the top 40 private wealth managers also have wide exposure to retail investors

Figure 12: Outside of Europe, many private wealth managers are looking towards mass affluent investors

Figure 13: The majority of global wealth managers offer SRI

Figure 14: The Nordics’ demand for SRI will increase, surpassing the regional and global averages

Figure 15: Medical and health issues are a popular cause to give back to among HNWs of all ages

Figure 16: Major wealth managers are stepping up their lending activities with 3.6% growth in loan balances

Figure 17: Global concern around cybercrime and data breaches is increasing year on year

Figure 18: By the end of 2020 the majority of wealth managers will have software to automate compliance work


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