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Analyst Scandal Alters View of Investment Managers

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CHICAGO (–Affluent investors who use investment banking-affiliated investment advisers have been unsettled by Wall Street’s analyst scandal, according to a survey.

Twenty-six percent of affluent investors using an adviser linked to an investment bank are considering a switch, which is a big change from previous attitudes, according to a Spectrem Group survey.

Historically, affluent investors have both relied heavily on brokerage firms for investment advice and been extremely loyal, staying with a firm for 10 years and longer, said George H. Walper, president of Spectrem. But this survey, conducted in July and August, indicates that may be changing. “That’s a very high number,” Mr. Walper said, in reference to the 26%.

How many of those people will actually change depends on how their managers respond in coming months. “It makes managing your client relationships much more difficult,” he said.

A report on the survey, “Corporate Scandal and the Lack of Advisor Objectivity,” was based on opinions taken from more than 200 affluent investors, defined by Spectrem as having US$500,000 in investable assets.