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The key hopes and fears of wealth management chiefs in 2014

by James Phillipps, Danielle Levy on Jan 13, 2014 at 14:21

The key hopes and fears of wealth management chiefs in 2014

From further consolidation and rising regulatory costs to managing client expectations and navigating choppy markets, wealth management businesses can be sure of another year of challenges.

But despite the headwinds, opportunities abound for wealth managers with a clear investment proposition, solid performance and compelling service levels. We asked a number of wealth managers and former cover stars what the year ahead has in store for their businesses.

Ian Brady and Jeremy Arthur, Oaktree Wealth Management

Oaktree directors Brady (pictured, left) and Arthur (pictured, right) expect discretionary investment management to come under greater regulatory scrutiny in 2014.

‘From a regulatory perspective what we are seeing is scrutiny from the regulator about processes and about treating customers fairly,’ Arthur said.

‘There has been a retail distribution review (RDR) thematic review, which is looking at the implementation of the RDR, and no big surprises have come out of that, but how you look after clients from a discretionary perspective will come under scrutiny.’

This year, Arthur said organic growth opportunities are firmly on the agenda as the business looks to attract clients from private banks who are dissatisfied with standardised offerings that may be dominated by in-house products

‘There is still a huge opportunity from clients of private banks and stock brokers who are not providing the right service. We think there is a huge opportunity out there. We have a very personalised service and think this is really the key to driving growth,’ he said.

After two years of strong investment returns, CIO Brady added that firms must warn clients not to expect 10% net returns over the following 12 months. Even if the market corrects slightly, he suggests this may not be a terrible thing if you subscribe to the view that markets are starting to look overheated.

Richard Whitehead, Dart Capital

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