New Report: Wealth Managers Lacking Social Media Strategy

Individual presences getting better but only 20% of wealth managers have a systematic approach - Charles Schwab, Deutsche Bank and Coutts Top Ranking

Zurich, Switzerland, December 01, 2012 --( Responding to the startling rise of social media, the majority of leading private banks and wealth managers are improving in deploying certain elements of social media and some platforms but, for the most part, lack effective social media strategies. This is the main finding of the 2012 report “Social Media for Wealth Management” by Swiss research company MyPrivateBanking Research, which analyses the social media activities of the 30 leading providers of private banking and wealth management services worldwide.

Only the frontrunners among the wealth managers surveyed utilize social media networks in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, thereby reaching out effectively to their affluent users. The winner of the 2012 MyPrivateBanking benchmarking analysis, the first-time ranked US broker and wealth manager Charles Schwab, excels with a truly interactive, lively Facebook page. The 2010 winner, Deutsche Bank, came in second in this year’s ranking, a highlight of the bank’s performance being a bilingual YouTube channel that contains a broad variety of videos about a whole range of the bank's activities. Coutts jumped from the 18th rank in the last ranking to the third place this year and scores particular well with its social media on its own website, including a private virtual community for its own high net worth clients.

Top 10 Wealth Managers' Social Media Presences (overall 30 wealth managers ranked, max. 50 points):

1. Charles Schwab, 42 points (New)
2. Deutsche Bank, 41 points (Rank 2010:1)
3. Coutts, 38 points (Rank 2010:18)
4. Citigroup, 37 points (Rank 2010:15)
4. Société Généralé, 37 points (Rank 2010:17)
6. Barclays, 36 points (Rank 2010:7)
6. Crédit Agricole, 36 points (Rank 2010:2)
8. Fidelity, 34 points (New)
8. Pictet, 34 points (Rank 2010:10)
10. Investec, 33 points (New)
10. Wells Fargo, 33 points (Rank 2010:13)

The MyPrivateBanking survey shows that, compared to the 2010 edition of this report, the average score awarded to the leading wealth managers’ social media presences has doubled from 13 to 27 points. However, these wealth managers still have a long way to go to come close to the maximum possible 50 points. In the most worrying survey result, MyPrivateBanking identifies just 20% of the banks and wealth managers as having effective overall strategies for targeting social media at wealthy clients in place.

“We see modest improvements since our previous survey which suggest that wealth managers, by and large, are on the right track, but reaching only half of their potential in a medium rapidly growing in importance for the target group. This is far from being enough,” says Francis Groves, Senior Analyst at MyPrivateBanking Research. “There is still no comprehensive, targeted approach to social media deployment in wealth management, of the kind that we find increasingly in banks’ social media activities aimed at retail customers.”

MyPrivateBanking regards the missing strategic direction of the wealth managers’ social media activities as the root cause for the mixed results many wealth managers achieve for their social media:

- Many wealth managers still not present on Facebook and LinkedIn. A staggering 14 out of 30 wealth managers do not offer a dedicated wealth management presence on Facebook and 12 wealth managers have no special LinkedIn presence. On a positive note the wealth managers with presences on these media platforms have improved their offerings in the last two years significantly.

- Deployment of Twitter improves, but still misses targeted approach. Two thirds of the wealth managers surveyed have relevant streams for private banking clients, compared to only 50% of the wealth managers in 2010. Although the scores for content are less encouraging: out of the 30 wealth managers analyzed, 26 do not have relevant Twitter streams in more than one language.

- Only YouTube and videos on the wealth managers’ own websites score well across all criteria: in the MyPrivateBanking report the wealth managers reach on average a strong 80% of the maximum achievable points for their video channels.

MyPrivateBanking Research strongly advises the leadership of globally active wealth management firms to open up to social media, to determine the strategic direction, and to build a dedicated group of media-savvy communication professionals that monitor, coordinate and support the day-to-day activities on the various social media platforms in different markets. Ensuring that all social media presences are kept active and lively is key, as social media is all about interaction and continuous updates.
Christian Nolterieke
+41(0)71 670 0489