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Private banking: AUM and revenues set for a stretch of outperformance

But competition will get tougher for wealth managers, according to a recent survey

Private-banking data that emerged last month points to prosperous times ahead for wealth managers worldwide. Consultant Scorpio Partnership published its benchmark study of the industry, which showed an increase in assets under management of 13.1% over 2004. Citigroup and JPMorgan enjoyed the largest percentage increase in assets over the period, but UBS and Merrill Lynch are still the largest managers, each with AUM above the $1 trillion mark. Only Dresdner Bank and Deutsche Bank's private-banking arms suffered declines in AUM. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' global private-banking survey, wealth management CEOs worldwide expect the good times to continue. Those surveyed expect assets and revenues to grow at an annual 13% over the next three years, with Asian participants expecting 21%. With overall average market growth estimated at 7.5%, that's serious outperformance, and with almost half their estimated growth expected to come from competitors' clients, private banks could have a war on their hands.

"Wealth managers are set for a competitive few years in their quest to gain market share." says Richard Collier of PwC's global tax practice. "The provision of comprehensive, integrated wealth management planning and investment performance are two rising differentiators."

Some 18% of revenue growth, however, is expected to come from new clients.

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