Some of you regular Scorpio followers will be familiar with our mantra ‘What Wealth Needs Next’. The logical extension of this motto is that across our portfolio of work and output, we are consistently putting the end client, their views and their needs at the centre and this is something we impress upon our clients regardless of the project at hand.

So it was with some small sense of satisfaction this week that Scorpio Partnership saw UBS Wealth Management launch its new global branding campaign, its first one in five years. Back in 2010, the strapline “We Will Not Rest” was designed to provide ballast to a bank which had lost its way following the financial crisis; embroiled in a series of ongoing battles with the Department of Justice over claims of aiding clients evade tax and plenty more besides.

The new campaign however, takes a different and more sensitive approach. Using the photography of Annie Leibovitz, UBS has moved beyond marketing its products and services directly by building its campaign around what it is calling ‘Life’s Questions’.

Those questions may seem completely and entirely unrelated to world of wealth management. For example, it’s 1 minute 30 second advert, begins with questions like ‘Is Santa real?’, ‘Why do I have homework?’ and ‘Will you marry me?’ But what becomes apparent as you focus on the questions posed, is that they represent a journey, a lifetime journey through the eyes of clients which are perhaps best surmised through questions like these and many others.

More impressively still, UBS doesn’t just rest at posing these questions.

On its dedicated microsite it attempts to answer these questions by using the voices and stories of clients and others to get to the heart of these vexing questions. In the life question page ‘Am I a good father? Do I spend too much time at work? Can I have it all?’, David Coulthard (fomer F1 driver) explores and explains how he is constantly torn between the love of his work and job, and the love of his family and not spending as much time as he would like there.

Figure 1: Am I a good father?

UBS Ad campaign


Following the advert through to the end and the poignant questions of ‘Will you be ok when I am gone?’ and ‘Have I been a good father?’ UBS subsequently states ‘For some of life’s questions, you’re not alone. Together we can find an answer.’

Having recently conducted an audit of marketing materials across the private banking and wealth management sector, I am becoming more convinced that financial service firms broadly struggle to communicate their value to clients.

Clients do not consume financial service products because of return on investment. They do not even consume services because they are rational or logical choices. They choose them because they speak to the values and demands they face as individuals. They are emotional and deeply personal decisions.

UBS has taken a big step forward in recognising that by couching their campaign through the eyes and voices of clients. Credit Suisse has also attempted to do something similar by featuring their clients and the dreams they had and how Credit Suisse has assisted them.

If one thing is for certain, it is that in an industry where products and services are commoditised, brand and communicating brand values will become more important – and for that reason alone, I doff my chapeau to UBS for beginning to grasp what wealth needs next.


Thought for the week:

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek 

News from the world of wealth:

Pictet’s H1 profit up, AuM hit by ForEx movement – Wealth Briefing

Citibank Launches Citi Priority for the Emerging Affluent in Hong Kong – The Jakarta Post

RBC completes sale of Swiss private banking business –

Nutmeg targets affordable financial advice with online service – Portfolio Adviser

One in 65 UK adults now a millionaire, figures show – The Guardian


Coming events in the world of wealth:

wealth management conference


Scorpio Partnership James HorraxAuthor:  James Horrax, Senior Analyst

Background:  James comes from a political and corporate communications research and strategy background. He previously worked with political and corporate leaders across a range of research, campaigning and presentational issues.

Education:  James holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Politics from the University of Stirling.

And at the weekends:  James spends his weekends gardening, walking his mischievous dog and being instructed by his wife in various activities ranging from the complex to the mundane (he’s more obedient than the dog).


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