Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch Bank Suisse

by Isabella Fonseca, October 7, 2004

Abstract

Milan, Italy October 7, 2004

Managing the High Net Worth:

In a new report, Managing the High Net Worth, Celent examines the technology approach behind Merrill Lynch Bank Suisse’s (MLBS) wealth management services and the latest steps taken by the bank to differentiate itself from the rest of Switzerland’s financial organizations. The study shows how Merrill Lynch is using technology from vendor SAGE to enrich and more clearly define and manage internal business processes to better serve its clientele. MLBS, which manages wealth for individuals and families in both domestic and international markets, saw an upgrade of its existing investment management system as crucial to improving performance, increasing revenues, and serving clients more efficiently.

Targeting private investors has become a much greater challenge. Fragile economic conditions have diminished confidence in advisory services, with a profound effect on investors’ behavior. According to Isabella Fonseca, author of the report, "We are seeing large banks evaluate external solutions to improve client service and increase revenues in the wealth management space. Merrill Lynch’s decision to use a vendor solution to migrate its investment management system is an interesting step for other large financial institutions to consider. Although banks using external technology will have to dedicate a large proportion of the implementation work to customizing the offering to their needs, the cost savings will be significant in the long run."

This report also briefly highlights major trends in the market, selected technologies available for private banking institutions, and lessons to be learned from the MLBS project. Many large banks around the world that find themselves with antiquated and inflexible investment management systems can learn from MLBS’ experience. The bank has shown that although it is difficult to judge whether a chosen solution is the best one, what differentiates an institution is how that product is used and customized.

This 21-page report includes 5 figures and 3 tables. A table of contents is available online.

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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

 

Milan, Italy October 7, 2004

Managing the High Net Worth

Return to report Abstract

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 3
INTRODUCTION 4
  Targeting the Wealthy 4
  Technologies For Managing Wealth 4
THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY 7
MERRILL LYNCH BANK SUISSE: BACKGROUND 8
DECISION PROCESS AND PROJECT TIMELINE 10
IMPLEMENTATION AND TECHNOLOGY 12
SPENDING 16
RESULTS AND LOOKING FORWARD 17
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED 19
OBJECTIVITY & METHODOLOGY 20

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