Swiss Wealth Manager Study Foresees 2014 Asset Increases

Switzerland’s independent wealth managers may increase client assets next year by attracting customers, adding net new money or acquiring competitors, according to a survey.

While 57 percent of firms predicted managed assets will advance, 36 percent saw client funds as stable in 2014, Coutts, a wealth-management unit of Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, said in a joint study with Wealth Briefing today, after polling 109 Swiss businesses.

Switzerland and western Europe will be the key region for business growth in the next two years, according to 49 percent of respondents. Fewer managers expect to expand in emerging markets, with 11 percent identifying Asia, and 8 percent selecting eastern Europe and the Middle East for growth, the survey showed.

Switzerland is tightening regulation of its 2,500 independent asset managers, prompting companies to consider mergers to pool costs. Independent advisers, which provide investment advice to wealthy people who deposit assets with the nations’ banks, oversee an estimated 600 billion francs ($656 billion), according to the Swiss Association of Asset Managers, which has more than 1,000 members.

Operational costs will increase next year, according to 59 percent of firms participating in the Coutts study, while 34 percent see no change in expenses.

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