Viewpiont: Making the Most of Upcoming Wealth Transfers

By Abrams, Michael N.; Morgan, Mark T. | American Banker, September 8, 2006 | Go to article overview

Viewpiont: Making the Most of Upcoming Wealth Transfers


Abrams, Michael N., Morgan, Mark T., American Banker


With the impending retirement of the baby boomers, the rate at which funds are transferred from one class of assets to another is about to rocket. By some estimates, transfers of business equity alone will amount to $4 trillion over the next eight years.

In addition, many boomers will decide the time has come to stop self-managing their money and let others do it for them.

Those on the private banking and wealth management side of the business have the opportunity to offer a full range of asset management, insurance, and wealth transfer services. Those on the commercial banking side have opportunities as well -- every business that changes hands is an opportunity to demonstrate to a new owner that your services are the best choice.

Ensuring that you capture your slice of the pie requires establishing private banking relationships with the soon-to-retire and, where possible, commercial banking relationships with the soon-to-purchase. This requires paying attention to internal cross-marketing.

A key step is breaking down traditional line-of-business silos and developing processes for identifying and cross-referring prospects. Part of this is simple education. Silos foster an "us-them" orientation that undermines the development of trust, which is a requirement for cross-referrals. Bankers are attuned to risk in their own client relationships and are unlikely to make a referral unless they're confident that opening the door to a colleague will be a plus for them.

Institutions need structured ways to identify and make referrals to ensure that prospects are high-quality and the setup is optimized, and they need a universal, clearly articulated value proposition. But they also need to ensure that cross-group contacts have a trust-enabling personal dimension that lets people demonstrate technical competence and concern for the client experience.

Methods for assessing the value and creditworthiness of a client frequently vary across an institution, resulting in uneven treatment and a consequent reluctance to make referrals. …

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