Wealth Management Media Scan: What Consumer Financial Publications Wrote about This Week

American Banker, November 13, 2007 | Go to article overview

Wealth Management Media Scan: What Consumer Financial Publications Wrote about This Week


Retirement Push

Bank of America Corp. has launched a $35 million ad campaign for its retirement programs, making a marketing push into a business dominated by more specialized financial firms, according to CNNMoney.com.

The campaign targets the nearly 16 million B of A customers approaching or living in retirement. Initially focusing on the Charlotte company's individual retirement accounts, it is expected lead to a broader campaign that focuses on their overall retirement needs.

"When you look at the size of the mass market, they are facing tremendous complexity in solving their life needs," said Jeff Carney, the president of retirement and global wealth and investment management client solutions at B of A.

A spokesman for the company said it has $91 billion of retirement assets under management and sees an "enterprisewide opportunity" to increase that number. Along with traditional retirement products, it has wealth products that provides services in areas such as estate and wealth transfer and trust.

Keep It Simple

Wealthy investors, swamped by complexity, yearn for clear, comprehensive advice on money matters, according to the head of Citigroup Inc.'s wealth management division.

Reuters reported that Sallie Krawcheck, the chairman and chief executive of Citi Global Wealth Management, told an industry conference that advisers typically speak in needlessly complicated jargon and bill customers for services in confusing ways. In addition, they frequently fail to tap potentially lucrative client requests for advice on estates, health care, and other matters beyond traditional securities, she said.

Advisers should become "holistic wealth managers," according to Ms. Krawcheck. "It is a fantastic opportunity for us as an industry to steer business away from the brokerage model [and] into the investment advisory model."

The changes likely would mean more revenue for advisers, she said, urging simple, straightforward billing of services and more electronic dissemination of routine documents, such as the hundreds of thousands of pages of disclosure statements and trade confirmations Citi publishes every day.

Giving and Saving

The Wall Street Journal's "Tax Report" column found that gifts of stock, mutual fund shares, and other investments have increased.

A charitable gift of appreciated stock allows investors to claim a deduction against their federal income taxes for the current market value of the shares, the paper. In addition, the investors and the charities will not owe any capital gains tax. …

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