Brand Finance: Most Valuable Asset Management Brands
There are many global brand rankings in the world, however most feature primarily consumer brands with the occassional B2B brand. For those who manage B2B brands this leaves little in the way of direct comparison and benchmarks in specific sectors, therefore B2B Syndicate asked the team at Brand Finance to create a special ranking from their annual Banking 500 to provide insight on the brand valuation of B2B financial brands. We have created two segments, the first on Asset Management, and the second on Investment Banking, and hope to expand this analysis to larger reports.
The wealth management industry is still characterised by short-term margins and growth pressures. This is due to adverse macro-economic condition and regulatory pressures prevailing in many markets across the world. The industry now is increasingly about delivering optimised solutions & advice and less about providing products and services. Therefore trust, reputation and brand will play a greater role in client proposition and client perception of value. Cost-income ratios remain relatively high in established markets. There is now a greater emphasis on sharing and outsourcing solutions to improve both cost efficiencies and front to back operational risk profiles. There are two overarching strategic priorities within this sub sector, first to improve client experience and second to manage the transformational change (operations, leadership & culture).
The wealth management market growth varies tremendously by geography. Newly emerging markets are leading the way for cost managed growths. Combined brand value of the top ten brands within the Asia-Pacific region are approximately US $125 billion, only US $9 billion short of the combined total brand value of the top 10 North American brands.
Asian brands seem to be closing the gap as they are benefitting from robust market growth, younger clients and increased wealth creation. Singapore is replacing Switzerland as the financial centre for private client assets.
A premium brand and reputation are the most critical differentiating factor within the wealth management business. And there is now a greater emphasis on brand building, as improving public perceptions and rebuilding trust & confidence remains critical within the industry.
Goldman Sachs moves from 10th to being the 7th most valuable brand within the asset/wealth management sub sector for the year 2014. Its sub sector brand value for the year 2014 stands at $2.9 billion compared to last year’s $1.4 billion. Tighter cost controls, increases in revenues and innovations in product/services offerings have attributed to the brand value uplift of over 50%.
UBS now leads in terms of brand value within the asset/wealth management segment; replacing last year’s winner, Deutsche Bank. Despite the $1.5 billion LIBOR related fine and stringent capital market rules, UBS delivered strong results. Tighter cost controls, focus on equity trading led to efficiency and revenue improvements, which in turn positively impacted the Brand Value. Its brand value currently stands at $6.3 billion; this is an improvement/uplift of almost 42% compared to last years’ $3.7 billion. Deutsche Bank drops from pole position to second in the 2014 asset/management sub sector. Poorer revenues and margins have attributed to the drop in brand value. Royal Bank of Canada also drops from 8th to 10th position.