In The Futurewealth Report 2014: The advocacy impact, the results show that across the wealth management customer journey, the significance of ‘independent opinion’ – including client referrals, ratings and reviews – has risen by 15% in the last two years, more than any other customer experience factor. This is the largest change in factors influencing new business.

“Our research shows that investors are focusing much more on not just anecdotal feedback but more quantitative assessments based on views of clients and those familiar with the business in question. Ratings are a sophisticated and unchartered territory for global wealth management. In our opinion, based on the unique large scale HNW and UHNW insight we have been collecting for this research program, the industry is now on the cusp of launching of an equivalent of a Wealth Management Trip Advisor. Its arrival will revolutionise the way in which individuals select firms,” said Sebastian Dovey, managing partner at Scorpio Partnership. The key will be building a major data set of comparable insight, which is what we are exploring now. This is a dynamic new frontier,” added Dovey.

Winning new assets in wealth management is tougher than ever. The latest round of unique global HNW/ UHNW client insight released today by Scorpio Partnership in collaboration with SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) and NPG Wealth Management demonstrates that HNWs are seeking more feedback from existing clients before choosing their financial providers. The paper explores trends in wealth management advocacy and referral activity among the world’s wealthy with the sampling possessing an average worth of USD2.9 million.

Crucially, HNW clients have referred seven of their peers to the firm during the lifetime of their relationship. But the results also show that increasingly wealthy investors are going to be much more influenced by the views of other clients – both directly and indirectly – when making the decision to select providers. Interestingly, there are regional differences to consider. In Asia, the average referral rate is approximately 15% above the global average. While in the United States – the home of “have a nice day” client service culture – the referral rate is approximately 30% below the global average. The quantity of referrals appears clearly correlated to the frequency of the requests. 43% of Asian HNW clients are asked for referrals at least once a quarter, compared to 10% of those in the Americas. (See Figure 2)

However, asking for referrals does not mean a wealth manager will receive them. The significance of the findings is
that the future drivers of industry growth will need to focus more on the factors that influence individual investors to
recommend their wealth manager. Notably, while the industry assumption that referrals are the bedrock of asset
growth, the results show that currently just 50% of the global wealthy said they would actively refer their wealth manager. The same investors stress that they are not unhappy with their providers – indeed satisfaction levels are very strong – but they are simply not certain that they can confidently promote their provider to other associates. This disconnect presents a major structural issue for many operators. The key to gaining quality referrals will be in a deeper connectivity between the institution and the client in the context of their outcomes.

“We find it encouraging to see in this paper that customer feedback is going to become even more critical to the way that the Futurewealthy find and select wealth managers. We hope this has a positive impact on financial institutions and encourages us, as an industry, to invest even further in delivering exceptional services to our clients.” Marc Stevens, Chief Executive Officer, NPG Wealth Management.

“This year’s Futurewealth series has provided valuable insights on investors’ digital habits, their purchasing drivers, investor loyalty, and, now, what it takes to spark client advocacy,” said Alfred P. West, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SEI. “It’s well known that a referral is one of the strongest tools in an advisor’s marketing arsenal, and what we’ve learned is that there is no exact science to winning client referrals. Client behavior and confidence in advisors varies based on personality, age, and location, and, thus, is unpredictable. However, by taking action wealth managers increase their likelihood of organically growing their business.”

Figure 1: Wealth management client journey: Relative importance of customer experience factors


Source: Futurewealth Report 2014: The advocacy impact

Other selected findings

  • Wealth managers are more fervent in their requests to the younger generation. On average, 42% of the under 40s are asked every quarter for referrals, compared to just 8% of the over 60s. The youngest Futurewealthy have referred on average nine of their friends or colleagues to their main wealth manager compared to those
    over 60, who have referred just four.
  • In the Americas, stability is cited as a key attribute to for recommendation by 58% of the Futurewealthy. This
    is closely followed by good performance, personal service and integrity. Asia Pacific’s wealthy give credence
    to a broader range of factors from stability and performance to innovation, value and a firm’s global network
  • Just 7% of the world’s wealthy are completely uncomfortable with the concept of referrals. Among the under
    40s, this is just 4%.

Figure 2: Frequency with which clients are asked for referrals by their relationship manager


Source: Futurewealth Report 2014: The advocacy impact

For more information please contact:

Sebastian Dovey
Managing Partner
Scorpio Partnership
T: +44 20 7811 0120

Catherine Tillotson
Managing Partner
Scorpio Partnership
T: +44 20 7811 0120

Dana Grosser
T: +1 610 676 2459

Monique Vaclavek
Head of Marketing & Communication
NPG Wealth Management
T: +352 45 67 30 4345

Nadège Bellevaux
Marketing and Communication, Senior Associate
T: +352 45 67 30 4989



1. In total, 3,025 individuals took part in this fifth global poll of the Futurewealthy. The average level of wealth among these individuals was USD2.9 million.

2. Geographically, 47% of the sample group live in Asia Pacific, 34% live in the Americas, 14% live in Europe and 5% live in other countries around the world.

3. The research covered four different phases in the wealth management relationship, the first of which has been included in this paper:

• The search for a wealth management
• Important attributes when carrying out a transaction
• Reasons for staying with a wealth manager
• Referrals and recommendations in the wealth management relationship

4. The research was conducted using an online survey. Participants were identified using profiling techniques to determine their likelihood of qualifying as Futurewealthy candidates. They were contacted directly by email.

5. The research was conducted by Scorpio Partnership in collaboration with NPG Wealth Management, and SEI.

6. Scorpio Partnership is a pioneer in the art of translating the complex needs of wealthy clients into practical, innovative and profitable solutions to target these customers. This award-winning firm has surveyed over 30,000 millionaires and billionaires worldwide to collect opinions on what they will need next. With this knowledge, the firm has implemented strategic research, practical consulting and business innovation projects in over 35 countries. Scorpio Partnership is part of McLagan, an AON Hewitt Company.

7. NPG Wealth Management is a leading provider of European cross-border life assurance solutions standing for excellence, transparency and compliance in the (Ultra) High Net Worth and High Affluent business. NPG Wealth Management’s operations are based in Luxembourg, Ireland, Gibraltar and Bermuda. From these 4 jurisdictions, the Group provides compliant wealth management solutions with active presence across 11 core Pan-European markets. Over the years, NPG Wealth Management has built a solid reputation of service excellence with its insurance intermediaries and clients with in excess of 5 billion euros of assets under management. For more information, visit

8. SEI (NASDAQ:SEIC) is a leading global provider of investment processing, investment management, and investment operations solutions that help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and ultra-high-net-worth families create and manage wealth. As of March 31, 2014, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI manages or administers $582 billion in mutual fund and pooled or separately managed assets, including $239 billion in assets under management and $343 billion in client assets under administration. For more information, visit