Report: The importance of HNW client referral for growth in the wealth management industry

Report summary

In this final report in the 2014 Futurewealth research series, we explore the concept of referrals within the HNW client experience. What we find is that advocacy will be an increasingly important drive of future business growth in wealth management.

A HNW client’s referral activity is influenced by a variety of factors and, indeed, different HNW segments behave differently when it comes to recommending a wealth manager or private bank. Whilst some of these factors involve innate HNW client behaviour, others are influenced by the wealth management institution and are therefore ripe for change by wealth managers keen to see a higher level of client recommendation activity.

What you need to know in brief:

  • The global wealthy are not shy of sharing their perspective and in future, client advocacy will be a crucial factor in securing new customers. To harness this change, wealth managers need to fully understand the drivers of client referrals.
  • Client advocacy depends on far more than a personal relationship with a financial advisor. It relies on wealth management firms delivering value across a wide range of client experience factors.
  • Net promoter Score, or NPS, is widely used to capture a customer’s propensity to advocate their wealth management relationship but our research suggests that NPS scores do not correlate well with actual referral activity.

Futurewealth 2014

During 2014, our ongoing Futurewealth research will explore the Futurewealthy as customers. What do they expect from their wealth management relationships, what prompts them to seek advice from wealth managers or private banks and how do they rate the service they receive? The results will be issued in four separate research reports, all of which are available for download.


Wealth advisors, private banks, financial advisors.

Research process

This is the fifth year of our Futurewealth research series. The report findings are based on the views of 3,025 individuals from around the world with an average worth of US$2.9 million. We refer to them as the Futurewealthy because they are at the front of a global charge up the wealth curve.

Futurewealth is a global customer insight programme that examines wealth management trends and the thoughts, needs and aspirations of HNW investors. In 2009, when many in the industry didn’t believe that it was possible to survey wealthy clients in statistically valid numbers, Scorpio Partnership began this attitudinal research programme. Today, over 15,000 HNWs have taken part and their input has created a database of over 5 million segmentable data points.


HNW Research


Scorpio Partnership, SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC), NPG Wealth Management