NU Online News Service, Sept. 16, 2003, 3:42 p.m. EDT – Artificial barriers between financial services business units are blocking use of “customer-centric approaches to wealth management,” according to “Wealth Management is Dead! (Long Live Wealth Management),” a new report published by The Tower Group Inc., Needham, Mass.

The challenge for financial services companies is to find a way to combine tasks such as portfolio management and account aggregation to provide a holistic perspective of clients’ financial status for the clients, the financial advisors and themselves, TowerGroup says.

“Fiefdoms are the single most important reason why wealth management as a financial business model has not achieved the traction anticipated by institutions, software providers and professional service firms,” Dennis Ceru, a TowerGroup director, says in a release announcing the wealth management report. “Despite recent rhetoric to the contrary, most financial institutions business units are still engineered to run as distinct entities within an enterprise, and are managed as separate profit-and-loss centers supported by separate technology groups. This stops customer-centricity dead in its tracks.”