Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch Bank Suisse

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7 October 2004


Milan, Italy October 7, 2004

Managing the High Net Worth:

In a new report, Managing the High Net Worth, Celent examines the technology approach behind Merrill Lynch Bank Suisses (MLBS) wealth management services and the latest steps taken by the bank to differentiate itself from the rest of Switzerlands financial organizations. The study shows how Merrill Lynch is using technology from vendor SAGE to enrich and more clearly define and manage internal business processes to better serve its clientele. MLBS, which manages wealth for individuals and families in both domestic and international markets, saw an upgrade of its existing investment management system as crucial to improving performance, increasing revenues, and serving clients more efficiently.

Targeting private investors has become a much greater challenge. Fragile economic conditions have diminished confidence in advisory services, with a profound effect on investors behavior. According to Isabella Fonseca, author of the report, "We are seeing large banks evaluate external solutions to improve client service and increase revenues in the wealth management space. Merrill Lynchs decision to use a vendor solution to migrate its investment management system is an interesting step for other large financial institutions to consider. Although banks using external technology will have to dedicate a large proportion of the implementation work to customizing the offering to their needs, the cost savings will be significant in the long run."

This report also briefly highlights major trends in the market, selected technologies available for private banking institutions, and lessons to be learned from the MLBS project. Many large banks around the world that find themselves with antiquated and inflexible investment management systems can learn from MLBS experience. The bank has shown that although it is difficult to judge whether a chosen solution is the best one, what differentiates an institution is how that product is used and customized.

This 21-page report includes 5 figures and 3 tables. A table of contents is available online.

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