Millionaires Wary Of Europe Debt Crisis, Survey Says
The investment practices of the majority of millionaire households are being impacted by the European sovereign debt crisis, says a new study by the Spectrem Group entitled Product Usage and Perceptions of Providers.
Seventy-two percent of millionaire households said they have been or will be affected by the European debt crisis, while only 36% said the drop in the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor's will affect their investments.
Tom Wynn, director of affluent research for Spectrem, said the effect of the European situation does not necessarily mean investors are shying away from or being drawn to European investments, but that they may choose their countries of investment because of it.
"What surprised us was that there was not much difference across the different age groups for those who say they will be affected by the European crisis," Wynn said. "Everyone is aware this is now a global economy."
Partially as a result of the problems with the economy and the stock market in the United States, cash is going to be the investment of choice for the next year for 52% of respondents, because they see it as safer, Wynn said.
The same is true for investing in banks and mutual funds, over the stock market, over the next few months, the survey said, and for the same reason-a desire for safety, Wynn added.
At the same time, the average value of the IRA's held by millionaires is now $548,000, a 10% increase over last year. The slice of the savings pie for investable assets also has increased for IRAs, to 28% in 2011 from 22% in 2010. Wynn said the increase is probably a concern over taxes on the part of the investor.
"Indications are that the millionaires and affluent are still in a wait-and-see attitude for the most part," Wynn said.
Viteos Expands Family Office Services
Viteos is expanding its operational services to family offices to provide institutional-grade infrastructures traditionally provided to such organizations as hedge funds.
Viteos is a global provider of fund administration, middle office and consulting services for the asset management community based in New York and London. It will be providing services for family offices that want to outsource some functions rather than hire in-house staff for administration and technology.
The firm will provide operational risk mitigation and cost control for the family offices, including data aggregation, reconciliation, valuation and other services. Clients will be given options to reduce overall accounting and operating costs, as well as providing timely and accurate reporting capabilities.
"Our move into the family office space is a response to both opportunity and demand," said Viteos CEO Shankar Iyer. "We saw an increased need to bring the kind of of expertise, technology and service that we have traditionally provided to hedge funds, and other asset managers, to address the specific needs of family offices."
Reliance To Acquire Savings Institute
Reliance Integrated Solutions LLC (RIS), a wealth management services firm, has agreed to acquire the assets of Savings Institute Trust Servicing (SITS), the trust operations outsourcing division of Savings Institute Bank and Trust Company.
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter but details have not yet been released.
RIS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Financial Corporation and provides trust and wealth management operations outsourcing solutions for trust companies and wealth managers serving high-net-worth individuals and institutions. It provides investment and trust accounting, securities processing and client reporting and the technology platform needed to support a range of trust and investment services. Reliance Financial Corporation, based in Atlanta, is a diversified financial services and wealth management company with more than $88 billion in assets under management and administration.
The acquisition of SIST is expected to bring new products and services to the SIST client banks, SIST said.
"This transaction represents a unique opportunity to grow our outsourcing business in a way that is a natural expansion for Reliance," said James T. Maxwell, president of Reliance Financial Corporation.
On The Move
RelianceTrust, based in Atlanta, has hired Trey Carter as president for its trust operations outsourcing subsidiary, Reliance Integrated Solutions. Carter will lead trust and investment services for wealth managers serving the high-net-worth and institutional marketplace.
Key Private Bank has established Key National Trust Company of Delaware to provide trust services for wealthy clients using Delaware's favorable laws. Anne Marie Levin, formerly with PNC Bank, has been named senior vice president and national Delaware trust specialist. Isabel Pryor, formerly with Wells Fargo Bank, has been hired as senior vice president and regional trust manager.
Citi Private Bank has hired Eugene Miller and Jane Bachmann as directors and ultra-high-net-worth private bankers. Miller joins Citi from Galaxy Family Resources, where he served as president, providing customized financial solutions for wealthy families and family offices. He is based in the firm's Greenwich, Conn., office. Bachmann has joined Citi's North America Asian Clients Group. She is based in San Francisco and joins Citi from The Presidio Group, where she served as managing director and partner.
Beverly Hills Wealth Management has appointed industry veteran Bart Albrigo senior vice president and wealth management advisor. Albrigo will be responsible for high-net-worth portfolio construction and helping to develop and manage investment strategies for the firm's client base.
EP Wealth Advisors, located in Torrance, Calif., and listed among the Top 100 RIA firms in 2011 by Financial Advisor magazine, has hired Bennett Gross, CFA as an investment strategist. Gross most recently served as director of wealth management at Pacific Wealth Advisors. Gross also chaired the investment policy committee for Financial Management Advisors and was co-founder and chief investment officer of Windward Capital Management.