Growth in the asset and wealth management industry in 2011 and beyond increasingly will be tied to the development of retirement-investment products, according to an executive-search expert.
“One thing we’ve seen is an interesting shift in the course over three years, with private-client-related search work going from 10% to 30% of our practice,” said George R. Wilbanks of Russell Reynold’s asset and wealth-management practice, in a phone interview.
“There is significant search of this search work on the buyside, including at the brokerage firms in wealth management. Granted, the business in this field has shrunk a bit from 2006 to 2010, but it has come back very strongly in 2010, though we’re not quite at 2008 levels.”
In a report released on Nov. 11, “Navigating the New Terrain in the Asset and Wealth Management Industry: Recruiting and Compensation Trends, 2010,” the executive-search firm explains that now is a defining moment for the wealth-management field.
At the retail level, for instance, “The delivery and breadth of retirement investment solutions are being redesigned to address the needs of the next retirement generation,” the report said.
Demand is very strong for retirement solutions, especially so that the mass affluent – those with $500,000 to $1 million in investible assets – don’t run out of money, says Wilbanks
“The twin risks of inflation and longevity need to be addressed,” he explained. “I’m doing lots of wirehouse searches, for example, with a retirement focus – such as a search for Merrill Lynch; which has 700 people focused on retirement solutions. This knowledge basis is really valuable right now.”
For this sector, there’s been a lot of turnover, with the small boutiques gaining market share and the largest national brokerage platforms consolidating, according to Russell Reynolds.