'Wealth Management' Could Seal Fate of Companies, Not Just
National Underwriter (Life/Health) (01/22/01) Vol. 105, No. 4 p.35; Connolly, Jim

Wealth management may determine the fortunes of financial services companies and not just the wealthy clients they serve. The argument is that the sum of financial services businesses is preferable to individual parts, at least in terms of accessibility and convenience for wealthy clients who are increasingly in need of financial services help. Alan Zimmerman, an insurance analyst with Fox-Pitt Kelton, a unit of Swiss Re, says that as wealth management grows, it will trigger convergence of banks, brokers, and life and property-casualty insurers. Zimmerman says the trigger might have already been tripped, as recent transactions, such as brokers buying banks, and banks buying insurers, have shown. Colin Devine, an analyst with Salomon Smith Barney, says that both branding and technology can be expensive, and merging companies can feed off each other's strengths. Recent acquisitions have involved John Hancock, AXA, Lincoln Financial, and possibly American General.

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