Wealth Management in North America: Clients, Products, and Providers

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22 January 2007


New York, NY, USA January 22, 2007

The population of affluent and wealthy individuals in North America will grow to 37.7 million by 2010, a 24% increase from 30.4 million in 2006. To win clients and assets in this growing market, financial institutions should align their clients, products, and distribution channels.

In the report, , Celent takes a snapshot of the wealth management industry at the start of 2007. According to the report, there are three different major client segments to be considered by wealth management providers:

  • Mass affluent, with net worth of $250,000 to $2 million, a population of 33.9 million and total assets of $7.2 trillion in 2010.
  • High net worth, with assets from $2 million to $10 million, a population of 3.4 million and total assets of $7.9 trillion in 2010.
  • Ultra-high net worth, with assets of more than $10 million, a population of 377,000 and total assets of $4.2 trillion in 2010.

Today's wealth management market has become more complicated as the numbers of the wealthy have grown. Different institutions cater to different segments of the market, though there is frequent overlap among some firms. The overlap increased the range of customer segments served, but with the negative outcome of a dilution of that organization's image.

"Many firms struggle between trying to be best of breed and being all things to all people, and wind up being neither," says Robert J. Ellis, senior analyst in Celent's Securities & Investments practice and author of the report. "Cognitive dissonance occurs on the part of clients when they are offered the wrong products through the wrong delivery channels."

The report analyzes client segments in detail, then looks at the wealth management products and the distribution channels used by the differing types of financial services firms to serve the different client segments. It also looks at the requisite classes of wealth management technology and identifies and analyzes future trends in clients, products, providers, and technology within the wealth management arena.

This report is instructive to any organization that competes in the wealth management arena, including brokerage firms, asset management companies, and financial planners, as well as insurance firms and banks.

The report is 52 pages long and contains eight tables and 20 figures. A table of contents is available online.

Members of Celent's research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left. Non-members should contact for more information.