What lies ahead for wealth management and what does it mean for investors?
Senior executives gathering for the 2014 Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit represent a changing and challenged industry. Big brokerage firms, trying to keep their customers satisfied in an era of low interest rates, growing stock market risks and persistent skepticism about financial services, are expanding their offerings. They are leaning heavily on comprehensive fee-based planning, alternative investments, pre-mixed portfolios and the cross-selling of products from their banking parents.
At the same time, the industry is facing disruptions: an international crackdown on untaxed assets held by offshore centers has unsettled clients and cost banks billions in fines to settle regulatory probes. Many advisers are approaching retirement age and others are leaving traditional firms to go independent. There is an increased competition from so-called “robo-advisers” that automate investing, and there is a greater appetite by investors for passive investing. The wealth management industry also faces regulatory scrutiny on everything from how brokers disclose their past records to how firms earn money on their trading volume.
Even so, wealth management remains a profitable and promising priority for the world’s largest banks and brokerages. The pool of high net worth and ultra high net worth clients steadily grows, providing stable fee income. The highly competitive retirement space remains a target as ongoing retirement of the baby boom puts trillions of dollars of 401(k) money in play.
Industry leaders and the people who regulate them will discuss these topics and more at the Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit.
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By Jennifer Ablan, Editor-in-Charge, U.S. Investment Strategy
Some of the world’s closely watched money managers including activist billionaire investor Carl Icahn, Loomis Sayles’ vice chairman Dan Fuss, famous short seller Jim Chanos (above), Andrew Wilson, chief executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Avenue Capital’s Marc Lasry and his sister, Avenue co-founder Sonia Gardner, were among the three dozen investors headlining the Reuters Global Investment Outlook 2014 Summit. For a summary recap report of the Summit, click click here.
The Summit, which came a week ahead of other news organizations’ Year Ahead summits and 2014 Outlook stories, produced more than 50 stories, analyses, sidebars and Reuters TV interviews during the week of November 18. For the first time in Investment Summit history, we blogged at the end of each day on everything from BitCoin to eminent domain to Carl Icahn’s hour-long discussion with our group and several of our guests participated in our one-year-old Global Markets Forum.
All stories from the week are available here.
All videos from the week available here.
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By Jonathan Leff, Editor in Charge, Commodities & Energy
The commodity trading industry is in the midst of unprecedented flux: the U.S. shale oil and gas production boom is upending global energy flows; tough new financial regulations are reshaping the marketplace; banks, merchants and big corporations are competing and collaborating in new and unexpected ways; and just as some owners look to sell their trading desks, new players are jumping at the chance to get a foothold in the raw materials supply chain. In a series of 15 interviews over last week, the Reuters Global Commodities Summit offered a rare glimpse into the strategic plans and tactical positions of the most important traders, merchants, bankers and regulators in the business at a moment of extraordinary change. (more…)
by Andrew Torchia, Economics Correspondent, Middle East and North Africa
A hoped-for return of political stability could trigger billions of dollars of investment next year in Arab countries hit by the 2011 uprisings, while foreign money is likely to continue flowing into the Gulf as that region becomes increasingly attractive to global portfolio investors, top government officials, regulators and business executives told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit.
The prime minister of Tunisia, economic policy makers from half a dozen countries, and chief executives of major banks and other companies discussed the future in a series of interviews for text, television and Trading Middle East, a Reuters chatroom for financial professionals. The event took place in 11 Arab cities over the space of a week.
Among the highlights, the Tunisian prime minister discussed economic reform plans and financing needs for next year; the head of Dubai’s Land Department described policies designed to prevent another boom-and-bust cycle in the emirate; the new head of Egypt’s financial regulator talked about efforts to revitalise the capital markets by cutting red tape and permitting new types of financial instruments; and managing director of Saudi Arabian tourism company Al Tayyar Travel Group predicted business growth would accelerate to 25 percent next year, partly thanks to deregulation of the kingdom’s aviation market. (more…)
By David Lindsey, Washington Deputy Bureau Chief
These are chaotic times in Washington, as deep political divisions over budgets, taxes and government programs have led to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government, threatened the United States’ credit rating and raised questions about whether persistent uncertainty is the new normal. The Reuters Washington Summit offered unique insight into the factors that are shaping the debates in Washington, as several of the capital’s most important players shed light on the ongoing tension within the Republican Party, the efforts to boost President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, the push to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws and the markers already being laid down in advance of upcoming talks on the U.S. budget.
The tension within the Republican Party was evident during the appearances by Senators Ted Cruz and John McCain. Cruz, the outspoken Texas Republican and Tea Party favorite, called the government shutdown a positive step toward changing President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. McCain, the Arizona Republican who has been a vocal critic of Cruz’s assault on “Obamacare,” said the effort had damaged Republicans. However, McCain added that problems with Obamacare’s website could help ease Americans’ anger toward his party over the shutdown. (more…)
How do Washington insiders see the outlook for the United States and beyond?
These are chaotic times in Washington, as deep political divisions over budgets, taxes and government programs led to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government, threatened the United States’ credit rating and raised questions about whether persistent uncertainty is the new normal. Reuters Washington Summit will help answer those and many other questions about the future of U.S. domestic and foreign policy, offering analysis from current and former lawmakers, industry advocates and others who represent the latest thinking about what’s going on in Washington and what it means. (more…)
By Terje Solsvik, Editor, Nordic language news services
The Reuters Nordic Investment Summit attracted influential decision makers from around the region. Denmark’s economy minister told us the country is picking up speed faster than expected and that the government will not add any fresh stimulus in 2014, while Norway’s finance minister declared he was happy with the weakening of the country’s currency. (more…)
By Douglas Busvine, Chief Financial Correspondent, Russia and CIS
Reuters interviewed 24 of Russia’s most influential entrepreneurs, executives and policymakers, including Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Russia Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, and more in Moscow from September 23-25 at the annual Reuters Russia Investment Summit.
The closed interviews delivered a bumper crop of exclusive news and insight. Highlights include:
- Investment group A1’s purchase of independent Regal Petroleum. Regal stock reacted to the news, going up over 10 pct in London.
- First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov flagged up foreign buying interest in troubled potash miner Uralkali – the day before China took a stake.
- Russia’s finance minister told Reuters Moscow would buy foreign exchange to top its reserve fund before the year is out and that government finances were at risk without further structural reforms to the budget and measures to cut spending by state monopolies.
For a summary recap report of the Summit, click here. Click here to read all the exclusives and full coverage of the Reuters Russia Investment Summit.
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