Sizing the European Retail Investor Market

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1 July 2014


In the second of three reports that analyze the retail investor market, this report addresses six Western European countries with respect to their overall economic health, regulatory drivers, retail investor market, and wealth management market maturity and sophistication.

Sizing the European Retail Investor Market aims to provide firms with an understanding of the retail investor landscape across Western Europe. Celent will provide recommendations on where wealth management solutions providers should focus their attention in the near term. The following countries are included in this report: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

The other reports in this series are Sizing the Retail Investor Market in the Americas and Sizing the Asian Retail Investor Market.

European retail investors are a diverse group with differing levels of affluence, investment knowledge, preferences, and expertise. Factors such as investor confidence and regulatory reform in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the ongoing European debt crisis are some of the many factors influencing the size and characteristics of the retail investor market.

“In the aftermath of the financial crisis, there has been a mixed growth rate across Europe in terms of retail investor population. A few of the many factors contributing to the retail investor population size include: cultural and historical views towards financial markets, loss and recovery of assets due to the financial crisis, and more stringent regulation of the markets,” says Ashley Globerman, Analyst within Celent’s Wealth Management Group and coauthor of the report.

Wealth management and private banking firms serving this group have had to adjust to a strict regulatory environment and an increasingly sophisticated and diverse client base. Such firms are focused on implementing strategies that will help them retain clients and high-value advisors in addition to expanding their client base. “Some progress has been made by firms, but investor confidence is not at its pre-crisis level. Wealth management firms face competition and need to understand their client base better than before in order to be successful in this environment,” says Isabella Fonseca, Research Director within Celent’s Wealth Management group.

In order to make objective assessments, Celent has evaluated the markets on a five-point system across a number of factors.