JP Morgan's Wealth Management Services: EMEA
J.P. Morgan's wealth managers in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) have the job role of creating and managing strategies in wealth planning, transfer, ownership, and philanthropy. They deal mostly with high-net-worth or ultra-high-net-worth individuals or families, but in some cases, they also transact with money managers and small businesses. The key challenges they face when onboarding clients appear to stem from complex tax and regulatory requirements and clients' evolving needs when it comes to technology. To compete with other private banks such as Credit Suisse, Julius Baer, UBS, BNP Paribas, and Pictet, and emerging competitors such as family offices and specialist or boutique advisory firms, J.P. Morgan's wealth managers must adapt to the new demands of its clients.
Taking note of the information that was provided in the original response, we started off our research with a review of J.P. Morgan's businesses in EMEA. From the company's website, we learned that the company has three businesses in the region, namely, Asset Management, Private Banking, and Corporate & Investment Banking, and that of these businesses, Private Banking is the business that provides wealth management services to high-net-worth individuals. According to the company, private banking, with its advisory services, helps individuals and families of wealth to protect and grow their wealth across generations, creating the potential for them to achieve the vision they seek for themselves, their families, their businesses and their legacies." Investopedia also defines private banking as customized banking and financial services typically offered to high-net-worth individuals.
Checking the company's Private Banking webpages, we also learned that the company's private has four capabilities, namely, wealth planning, investing, lending, and banking. Given that wealth management services are of interest, we paid special attention to the private bank's wealth planning services to determine the job role of the company's wealth managers. We also examined the profiles of the company's highest-ranking wealth advisors in the region and the job postings of the company's wealth management business.
To find the main clients of the company's wealth management business in EMEA, we consulted the company's annual reports, investor presentations, and conference calls, and conducted a press search as well. Fortunately, we found a number of helpful insights from the company's latest annual report and Euromoney's latest private banking and wealth management survey, which we then used to determine the types of clients the company's wealth managers serve.
As for the main competitors and the key client onboarding challenges, we could not locate any information specific to J.P. Morgan apart from Euromoney's ranking of private banks. Searching through the company website, the company's press releases, and the reports and news articles covering the company did not produce the desired results. Euromoney's ranking of private banks offers clues as to J.P. Morgan's direct competitors, but it does not provide any details about new competitors or client onboarding challenges. As a result, we broadened our search and looked for regional or global reports on wealth management instead. We assume that regional or global trends more or less apply to J.P. Morgan in EMEA as well. Thankfully, this adjustment resulted in us finding Ernst & Young's global report on wealth management, Gerard Cohen's article on family offices in Europe, and Euromoney's article on wealth management. From these sources, we were able to gather insights about client onboarding challenges and new competitors.
JOB ROLE OF WEALTH MANAGERS
J.P. Morgan's Private Banking business in EMEA has offices in London, Frankfurt, Milan, Geneva, Zurich, Paris, and Madrid, with London being the regional headquarters. Facing clients are a team of bankers, investment specialists, lending advisors, client service specialists, trust officers, and wealth advisors. Wealth managers, or wealth advisors as J.P. Morgan calls them, have the role of creating and managing strategies in wealth planning, transfer, ownership, and philanthropy. They help clients evaluate choices, and they offer clients guidance on how to grow and preserve their wealth. They also help clients think through crucial questions touching on the ability to continue lifestyle, the things that need to be done to provide for family and future generations, and the establishment of a philanthropic legacy.
Wealth managers assist in succession planning, the analysis of projected outcomes, the evaluation of risks to wealth plan (such as spending rate, named trustees, and asset management), the evaluation of concentrated positions, the development of charitable-giving strategies, and the execution of wealth plan. They also work with trust officers in the protection of legacy. An analysis of J.P. Morgan's highest-ranking wealth advisors in EMEA, namely, Paul Knox (United Kingdom), Yannick Stehr (Germany), Achille Gennarelli (Italy), Agnès Le Ster (France), Regis Molowny (Spain), Philippe Piedon‐Lavaux (Switzerland), and Maya Prabhu (United Kingdom), reveals that J.P. Morgan's wealth managers assist in estate planning, succession planning, philanthropic needs, and strategic wealth planning.
According to page 75 of J.P. Morgans's latest annual report, the company's private banking clients are high-net-worth individuals, ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families, business owners, small corporations, and money managers. (J.P. Morgan deals with the more affluent end of the client spectrum, while Chase deals with the less affluent end.) The focus on the wealthy and the ultra wealthy is evident in the results of the latest Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey of Euromoney, a business and finance magazine. Based on this survey, when it comes to private banking services for ultra-high-net-worth clients with investable assets of over US$30 million, J.P. Morgan ranks first in the Middle East and second in Western Europe. When it comes to private banking services for high-net-worth clients with investable assets of US$5 million to US$30 million, on the other hand, J.P. Morgan ranks fifth in the Middle East and sixth in Western Europe.
KEY CLIENT ONBOARDING CHALLENGES
Key client onboarding challenges appear to stem mostly from evolving client needs. Clients' demands are getting more sophisticated or complex, and wealth management clients now "want their private wealth to be viewed and managed holistically." Given advances in technology, they now expect "full use of digital infrastructure capabilities" and communication and support to be technologically-driven. For example, given that there are now applications that assess a person's risk and investment profile, clients will likely expect wealth managers to have these tools at hand upon onboarding. To compete with family offices, wealth managers should be ready to offer technologically-driven support that is user-friendly and that provides a positive experience for the client. Complex tax and regulatory requirements appear to cause problems during client onboarding as well. According to Ernst & Young, "the expansion of the regulatory realm and concerns about retrospective legal uncertainty loom large for wealth managers."
Based on Euromoney's ranking of private banks, the direct competitors of J.P. Morgan's wealth management business appear to be Credit Suisse, Julius Baer, UBS, and Pictet in the Middle East and UBS, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, Julius Baer, and Pictet in Western Europe. These are the private banks that rank closest to J.P. Morgan as far as services to the wealthy and ultra-wealthy are concerned. New challengers come in the form of specialist or boutique advisory firms, multi-family offices, and specialist wealth managers. These firms target niche client segments such as women, impact investors, or clients that prefer digital advisors. Some wealth management executives at top banks, such as Greg Fleming of Morgan Stanley, Jürg Zeltner of UBS, and Sallie Krawcheck of Bank of America, have left their jobs to start their own boutique advisory businesses. In Europe, family offices are thriving, according to experienced private banker Gerard Cohen. These family offices offer comprehensive financial and investment solutions, encompassing insurance, budgeting, charitable giving, tax services, wealth transfer, and planning for family-owned businesses. They typically serve ultra-high-net-worth individuals or families.