Global Wealth Managers – Competitive Dynamics 2020

This report benchmarks the world’s leading wealth managers by managed client assets and financial performance. The report covers the 44 most prominent institutions, including standalone private banks and wealth managers, as well as competitors that are part of larger universal financial groups. All international public wealth managers with over $100bn in private client AUM are featured in the report.

The leading wealth managers around the world entered 2020 in a relatively strong position with a stellar year for client assets, driven both by a buoyant market and positive client inflows. The cost-to-revenue ratio also improved after a couple of stagnant years, driven mostly by higher revenues significantly outpacing growth in costs.


– lient assets ended 2019 at an all-time high, before crashing in March.

– Half-year data in 2020 suggests the big wealth brands will grow client assets under management (AUM) by the end of 2020.

– Cost/revenue ratios improved in 2019, putting wealth managers in a good position for the crisis.

– COVID-19 did hammer the portfolios of all major wealth managers, but a swift recovery in client AUM is already underway, driven by positive net inflows and market performance.

Reasons to buy

– Benchmark your AUM and financial performance against the biggest players in the industry.

– Understand the challenges in growing client assets in different geographies.

– Learn about your competitors’ strategies related to expanding client books.

– Find out how profitable the wealth management business is.

– Identify the industry’s best practices in managing operating costs and boosting revenues.

– Discover how wealth managers’ M&A activity affects their financial performance.

Companies mentioned


Bank of America Merrill Lynch


BNP Paribas

BNY Mellon

Bank of China

Bank of Montreal

Charles Schwab

China Merchants Bank


Citi Private Bank

Crédit Agricole

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank


EFG International

Goldman Sachs


HSBC Private Bank

JP Morgan

Julius Baer

Morgan Stanley

Northern Trust




Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Scotland


Société Générale

Standard Chartered


US Trust


Wells Fargo


Bank of Singapore


Raymond James

St. James’s Place


Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.1. Leading wealth managers entered the COVID-19 crisis in great shape

1.2. Key findings

1.3. Critical success factors


2.1. Client assets ended 2019 at an all-time high, before crashing in March

2.1.1. The top wealth managers gained back market share as markets propelled portfolios forward

2.1.2. Continued positive net new money in the first half of 2020 positions top banks well in the crisis

2.2. Neither the buoyant 2019 results nor the pandemic appear able to shift the top rankings

2.2.1. The largest wealth managers retained their grip in fair and foul industry conditions

2.2.2. After key investment management acquisitions, M&A has fallen away from strategy discussions

2.2.3. Notable M&A in 2019 was few and far between for the largest wealth managers

2.3. The pandemic is less of an issue for big brands than the overall market

2.3.1. In H2 2020, the top private wealth managers are beating the market


3.1. 2019 represented a peak in profitability for major wealth managers

3.1.1. Wealth managers entered the COVID-19 crisis and recession on a profit high

3.1.2. Revenue was the big driver behind the sunnier profit total for most wealth managers

3.2. Group performance was weak, making wealth a lone bright spot

3.2.1. Group profits were marginally down after a couple of years of growth

3.2.2. Wealth management divisions’ relatively stable 2020 revenue will likely see growth in share of group income


4.1. Sustainable investing is increasingly a priority for major wealth managers

4.1.1. ESG and SRI capabilities are now a point of differentiation and competition

4.1.2. Wealth managers have been building up sustainable investing for some time

4.1.3. Asia, previously skeptical, is increasingly embracing the trend

4.2. Thresholds for private wealth are likely to rise after the recession

4.2.1. Leading wealth managers are still primarily operating in the HNW space

4.2.2. Retail and mass affluent wealth is still a minority,but its proportion is increasing

4.2.3. Family office support is growing in the wealth divisions of the largest private banks

4.3. Next-gen programs are endeavoring to limit churn with holistic wealth management

4.3.1. The growth opportunity and threat of wealth transfer have focused attention on the next gen

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

4.3.3. Revamped and new next-gen programs are increasingly becoming an important service among top players

4.4. Regulatory issues and digital transformation have both been heavily disrupted by the pandemic

4.4.1. Digital transformation, a long-term issue for wealth, was refocused onto remote working

4.4.2. Regulatory issues are a constant worry for wealth managers,but market turmoil causes a spike


5.1. Supplemental data

5.2. Abbreviations and acronyms

5.3. Secondary sources

5.4. Further reading

List of Tables

List of Tables

Table 1: Private wealth management unit standard minimum account thresholds

Table 2: Robo-advisor offerings among selected wealth managers, August 2020

Table 3: Net new money from reporting wealth management competitors, 2012-19 ($bn)

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: Leading players won back market share in 2019, accounting for just over a third of HNW wealth

Figure 2: Almost all changes in client assets in 2019 were due to market effects and net inflows

Figure 3: Inflows were up in 2019 but were still down from the all-time high seen in 2017

Figure 4: All of the top 10 saw growth in 2019, but Goldman Sachs grew by almost a quarter

Figure 5: M&A is increasingly off the board for the majors as they focus on the next gen and digital

Figure 6: Wealth managers will pick up market share as a result of the recession

Figure 7: COVID-19 is expected to knock back the impressive gains in profitability made by the industry in 2019

Figure 8: Wealth profits surged at Goldman Sachs, but much of this was due to changes in reporting lines

Figure 9: A promising 2019 will give way to a poor 2020 as revenue drops significantly in the recession

Figure 10: Shifts in business mix were mostly the result of other divisions, with only a few banks reporting large swings

Figure 11: After lagging the market in 2018, group profits surged at European and Swiss wealth managers

Figure 12: Some of the largest declines in profits were from groups that had posted exceptionally high 2018 numbers

Figure 13: Overall, shifts towards more wealth in the group business mix have been modest in recent years

Figure 14: The majority of global wealth managers offer SRI solutions to their private wealth management clients

Figure 15: Average retail assets represent 42.8% of total individual AUM at leading wealth managers

Figure 16: SRI, social media, and young investor events are all secondary to investing in a solid digital strategy

Figure 17: Vanguard’s hybrid robo-advice service is the only robo to gain scale

Figure 18: Regulation has been fading as a worry, but the pandemic is on track to cause a spike in regulatory disputes


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