According to the Scorpio Partnership Private Banking Benchmark, which tracks the fortunes of more than 200 financial institutions, wealth managers increased their assets under management (AUM) by an average of 8.7% in 2012, owing to a rebound in net new money and strong market performance.
However, the 20 largest operators – what Scorpio Partnership terms “the mega-wealth managers” – boosted their assets by almost 11%. This group now collectively runs more than three-quarters of global wealth manager AUM, and Scorpio Partnership forecasts that its dominance will continue.
“The evolution of the top 20 wealth managers over the past five years [has] become marked in the separation of this pack with the rest of the market – so much so that there now appears to be an emergence of a ‘champions league’ of firms that through the factor of their scale and market coverage are more likely to attract business,” the report says.
Leading the private banking AUM list is Switzerland’s UBS, which reclaimed the number-one position from Bank of America, thanks to its higher growth rate (see table below). Geneva-based Pictet also leap-frogged a US rival, taking tenth-spot from JP Morgan, with an AUM increase of more than 20%.
However, the biggest expansion came from Santander, which returned to the top 20 for the first time since 2010. The firm’s 66.2% AUM increase was primarily driven by its decision to acquire the remaining share capital of Banesto and Banif, and absorb both banks into the Santander group.
|Ranking||Institution||AUM ($bn)||Growth 2012||Reporting currency||Ranking move|
|2||Bank of America||1,673.5||5.9%||USD||-1|
|6||Royal Bank of Canada||628.5||9.6%||CAD||–|
|12||Citi Private Bank||250.0||20.2%||USD||+1|
Source: Scorpio Partnership Private Banking Benchmark 2013