Discretionary Asset Management: HNW Demand And Drivers

Globally over half of HNW investment portfolios are placed in discretionary mandates. However, the uptake of these services differs by country. While wealth managers in developed economies such as the UK and the US can attract investors to discretionary services relatively easily thanks to their established reputations, players in emerging markets have a longer way to go. Nevertheless, despite the challenging competitive environment, the penetration of mandated offerings is expected to increase, in line with most global players’ business strategies.

Key Findings

With 81.5% of HNW portfolios placed in discretionary services, Singapore has the highest penetration of discretionary mandates. The UK and the US follow.

In absolute terms, China follows the US as the world’s second largest market for discretionary asset management. With increasing demand for these services from HNW investors, many players are likely to look for options to enter the market.

Lack of time and expertise are two major factors encouraging HNW clients to use the services offered by discretionary portfolio managers.

The relatively high cost of discretionary services can deter investors and make them more willing to opt for advisory mandates.

Although dubbed “robo-advisors,” a number of digital players in Europe in fact offer discretionary investment management at competitive prices.

A number of industry leaders, including UBS and Citi Private Bank, place higher mandate penetration at the center of their business strategies.


Verdict Financial’s “Discretionary Asset Management: HNW Demand and Drivers” report draws on our 2016 Global Wealth Managers Survey to analyze HNW investors’ preferences and attitudes towards discretionary asset management services across the globe. It sizes the market for discretionary mandates and examines key drivers behind wealthy individuals choosing such services. The competitive landscape is also analyzed.

Specifically, the report:

Estimates the value of HNW assets invested via discretionary mandates

Compares HNW individuals’ willingness to use discretionary services in different countries

Identifies target client groups for discretionary asset managers

Compares drivers for discretionary mandates between countries and regions

Examines the client targeting strategies of discretionary portfolio managers

Explores robo-advisors’ potential to disrupt traditional discretionary asset management business

Reasons To Buy

Discover how much HNW wealth is invested via discretionary mandates.

Identify markets offering the greatest growth potential for discretionary asset management.

Learn why HNW investors choose to opt for discretionary services, and how these motivations differ between countries, particularly in emerging and developed markets.

Gain an insight into best-practice examples from competitors operating within the discretionary mandates landscape.



Ken Research

Ankur Gupta,

Head Marketing & Communications


+91-124- 4230204



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