Schroder and Co will stand out from the sea of mass affluent services. By targeting genuinely wealthy customers, it can concentrate on service rather than volume. The rapid growth in the number of high net worth individuals should ensure this is a good way for Schroders to go.
Today sees the doors open at Schroder and Co, the new private bank from UK fund manager Schroders. While the likes of Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch HSBC have been busy bringing private banking to the masses, Schroders has stuck firmly to the traditional realm of private banking: the high net worth market.
The new bank is also prepared to look beyond UK shores: in a sector where cross-European offerings have seemed to concentrate purely on the more paltry assets of the mass affluent, Schroders has stated its intention to tap the super-wealthy of Italy, Spain, France, Germany and beyond.
Schroders' traditional focus, it seems, is with good cause. The UK high net worth market, for example, has grown by an annual average of 13.6% since 1995. There are currently 2.2 million UK individuals with liquid assets of GBP100,000 and above. With strong growth forecast to continue to 2005, Schroder and Co can be reassured that its GBP250,000 liquid asset cut-off positions it well to exploit the rising wealth of the UK and concentrate on service rather than customer volumes.