Wealth Management to Get a Tech Facelift?

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Anthony Malakian, US Editor, WatersTechnology

The Bär-BAML deal may point to a sea change in the wealth management space as IT plays a large role in the acquisition.

I've been on vacation for a little more than a week and, apart from listening in on my mom watching CNBC in the morning, I paid no attention to the capital markets.

I like to think this publication falls apart and is lost without me, but that is not the case. This week's Buy-Side Technology alert is packed with news. (If you haven't already signed up, here's the link-it's free.)

One story I'd like to highlight is Tim Murray's piece on the technology implications of Swiss private bank Julius Bär's acquisition of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's International Wealth Management unit.

Tim notes that the realm of wealth management has largely been very high on the human-touch scale, with technology not seen as a differentiator. But this acquisition might point to a change in that philosophy, as 20 percent of the transition costs ($325 million, post-tax) has been earmarked for IT.

While it is still unclear if this is a sign of things to come or an anomaly, Alexander Camargo, an analyst with Celent, tells Tim: "The percentage is high, but it is within the scope of what wealth managers are trying to do now," as the cost of maintaining and improving online and mobile platforms take on greater importance, among other necessities.

I encourage you to read the article, and if you have any thoughts as to whether or not this is a trend, send an email to me at [email protected] or give me a call at 646-490-3973.

 

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