A survey from Andersen released late this month says that most asset managers are out of touch when it comes to the needs of their high-net-worth clients and, as a result, a good number of those clients are dissatisfied with the services they receive.
The study comes as the accounting and consulting giant weathers increasing scrutiny for its practices servicing the bankrupt and scandal-ridden Enron corporation.
The firm surveyed 289 individuals worth at least $1 million in investable assets as well as 270 asset managers worldwide.
Andersen found that 32% of wealthy clients were dissatisfied with services from their asset managers. The report, titled High Net Worth Asset Management: A New Model?, says wealthy investors are likely unhappy because asset managers dont know what their clients want.
For example, 68% of asset managers said their clients were seeking more conservative ways to invest while 62% of the wealthy clients said their tolerance for risk had stayed the same or even increased during the past year.
Satisfying clients is more important than ever, Andersen says, because the margins of asset managers are under pressure from declining markets and rising overhead costs. In addition, Andersen said 25% of wealthy investors said they planned to place assets with secondary advisors in the next year. "The ability to deliver products with the appropriate levels of risk and return is paramount to winning that business," the company said in a statement.