The sweet spot may actually be investors with less than $10 million.
In a March report titled “A Tale of Two Millionaires,” McKinsey & Company coined the term core millionaires to describe the 4.2 million households in the U.S. with between $1 million and $10 million in assets. These clients are the meat and potatoes of many full-service brokerages and investment advisories. In the report, McKinsey urges private banks to downshift, focusing more of their attention on the core millionaires and less on the ultra-high-net-worth, those with $10 million or more in assets. Why? McKinsey says core millionaires will generate close to two-thirds of asset growth in wealth management and nearly 80 percent of all net new revenue growth by 2015. They also deliver revenue margins that are two to three times the average for the UHNW. Jill Zucker, the lead author on the McKinsey report, says there is an opportunity here for private banks because full-service brokers tend to struggle to move beyond the investing basics — equity transactions, some alternatives, mutual funds and ETFs. They do less well with the bespoke or proprietary products that many wealthy clients want, she says. Already, full-service brokers have been losing market share in this client segment over the past decade. Just check out the chart below. Between 2001 and 2010, their market share dropped 5 percentage points.