The private banking arms of large financial institutions dominate a list of firms managing the money of wealthy families, but independent wealth managers are showing the fastest growth.
That’s according to new figures from Bloomberg Markets magazine, which says HSBC Private Wealth Solutions manages $123.6 billion (€100 billion) – an increase of 21% year on year – for 297 families, while BNY Mellon Wealth Management saw assets under advisement fall 1% to $64.5 billion.
This compares to growth of 36% to $3.6 billion at independent US firm Signature – which saw the greatest rise in assets under advisement.
Under Bloomberg Markets’ definition, both private banks and independent firms were classed as family offices – so long as they offered “comprehensive investment and non-investment services” to wealthy families. Single family offices were excluded – when asked why, Bloomberg Markets did not respond.
Private banks made up nine of the top 10, found the research, published in the magazine’s September issue under the title The World’s Richest Family Offices.
However, the piece said: “Boutique family offices question both the big banks’ level of service and their motivation; they say the banks are too eager to sell their own hedge and mutual funds to clients.”
Over 115 firms responded to a survey, carried out using a database of 1,000 firms worldwide from the Family Office Group. There were some notable omissions, including the UK’s Fleming Family & Partners, which manages about £4 billion (€5 billion). The smallest firm on the list was Texas-based Tolleson Wealth Management with $2.4 billion in assets under advisement.
The research said a number of those on the list, including UBS Global Family Office, were working hard to get clients in Asia by sitting up new units or expanding services. However, no Asian firm or bank made Bloomberg Markets’ top 50 – which was ranked by assets under advisement.
The smallest offices on the list in terms of families were Seattle-based McCutchen Group with AUA of $5.2 billion for four families, Geneva’s 1875 Finance managing $5.1 billion for three families and Boston-based Bollard Group with $2.6 billion for eight families.
The research ranked 1875 Finance as the top firm by assets per family ($1.7 billion per family on average), followed by McCutchen Group ($1.3 billion on average) and Geneva-based Pictet ($1.1 billion on average).