经济学人双语版-看钱不看人 For the money, not the few

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FlyTitle: Wealth management

Hold your nose. The world’s snootiest money managers are being forced to serve the unwashed masses

忍着吧。全球最傲慢的理财公司正被迫为底层大众服务

经济学人双语版-看钱不看人 For the money, not the few

LINDA, A 54-YEAR-OLD event consultant in Los Angeles, is neither disorganised nor innumerate. Ask about her finances, however, and you lose her for two hours. She opens her current (checking) account on a mobile app, then cites a rainy-day fund at another bank. She has 14 credit cards, five mortgages, six insurance policies and several pensions with ex-employers.

琳达是洛杉矶一名54岁的活动策划顾问,做事有条理,也不是数字盲。但如果问一下她的财务状况,她两小时都说不清。她会先在一个移动应用上打开她的活期(支票)帐户,然后再看看在另一家银行的应急存款。她有14张信用卡,5项抵押贷款,6份保险,还有几个在前雇主那里开设的退休金账户。

Ranks of pinstriped advisers have long helped the very rich to invest, minimise tax and pass money down the generations. Everyone else has had to work it out on their own. “People’s relationship with money is broken,” says Martin Gronemann of ReD Associates, which uses anthropology to advise businesses. It reckons that personal finances are a bigger source of stress than worries about crime or health.

长期以来,那些衣冠楚楚的顾问一直在帮助富豪投资、尽可能减少缴税并将财富传给后代。其他人理财得靠自己。ReD Associates的马丁·葛罗纳曼(Martin Gronemann)说:“人们与金钱的关系被割裂了。”ReD Associates利用人类学为企业提供建议。该公司认为,与对犯罪或健康的担忧相比,个人财务状况是一个更大的压力源。

Now, however, financial firms are competing to democratise wealth management. On December 8th Goldman Sachs, which used to shun clients with less than $25m, said its robo-adviser could soon serve clients with as little as $5,000 to invest. And on December 14th Vanguard, an asset manager with nearly $6trn under management, teamed up with Alipay, a Chinese tech giant, to counsel customers with at least 800 yuan ($114).

但现在金融公司正竞相让财富管理大众化。过去高盛不会理会资产少于2500万美元的客户。12月8日,该公司表示其智能投顾将很快可以为投资金额低至5000美元的客户提供服务。12月14日,管理近6万亿美元资产的资产管理公司先锋领航(Vanguard)宣布与中国科技巨头支付宝合作,为客户提供800元人民币起投的投资顾问服务。

The wealth-management sector is fragmented and ripe for disruption. UBS, the global leader, has a 3% market share and is the only firm in the top four in each of Europe, Asia and America. The industry remains technophobic, says Charlotte Ransom, a Goldman Sachs veteran now at Netwealth, a challenger. Advisers spend half their time on tasks that could be automated. According to EY, a consultancy, only 56% of clients fully understand the fees they pay.

财富管理行业市场分散,颠覆的时机已经成熟。该领域的全球领军企业瑞银集团占3%的市场份额,并且是唯一在欧洲、亚洲和美国都排名前四的公司。该行业仍患有技术恐惧症,夏洛特·兰瑟姆(Charlotte Ransom)表示。她曾是高盛的资深员工,目前任职于业内后起之秀和挑战者Netwealth公司。顾问们有一半的时间都花在本可以自动化的任务上。咨询公司安永表示,只有56%的客户完全明白自己支付的那些费用是何名目。

The industry stratifies customers in a manner rather similar to airlines. “Affluent” clients, with between $300,000 and $1m in assets, get premium-economy treatment. They may talk to advisers by phone, but banks will do all they can to keep them out of branches. Investment options are limited to ready-made funds. “High-net-worth” clients, with up to $15m, fly business class, picking stocks and chatting in person with named advisers. Flying private are the “ultra-high-net-worth” individuals, who have access to venture capital and currency hedges, with exclusive dinners, golf outings and so on as cherries on top.

财富管理行业划分客户的方式与航空公司非常相似。资产在30万至100万美元之间的“富裕”客户将获得高端经济舱待遇。他们可以通过电话与顾问交流,但银行会尽力不让他们直接到分行去面谈。投资选择仅限于现有基金。身家高达1500万美元的“高净值”客户享受的是商务舱服务,可以挑选股票,与指定顾问面谈。乘坐私人飞机的是“超高净值”客户,可以选择风投资本和货币对冲产品,还有专属晚宴和高尔夫活动等锦上添花的服务。

Whereas high-net-worth individuals typically pay no more than 1% of assets in fees each year, the mass affluent often pay over 2%—the average yield of S&P 500 stocks—for inferior service. Cattle class gets no service at all. Saving for retirement is the second-biggest financial commitment most adults ever make (after buying a home), says James McManus of Nutmeg, a British fintech. Yet most do it with no help.

高净值客户每年支付的费用通常不超过其资产的1%,而大批富裕人群支付的费用通常超过其资产的2%(标准普尔500成分股的平均收益水平),得到的服务却更差。经济舱等级的客户则根本得不到任何服务。英国金融科技公司Nutmeg的詹姆斯·麦克马纳斯(James McManus)说,为退休做储蓄是大多数成年人(继买房后)的第二大财务投入。然而大多数人在这方面只能靠自己。

That leaves a lot of money on the table. According to Oliver Wyman, a banking consultancy, the affluent, with $21trn in assets, and those below them, with $51trn, have as much to invest between them as high-net-worth individuals. The problem is that advisers, branches and time are costly. Most private banks deem portfolios below $2m barely profitable.

这就意味着有大量资金未被触及。据银行业咨询公司奥纬咨询(Oliver Wyman)称,富裕人群的总资产为21万亿美元,财富水平在他们之下的人群的总资产为51万亿美元,两者的可投资资产加起来与高净值人群一样多。问题在于,顾问、银行分行和时间都是成本。大多数私人银行认为它们从200万美元以下的投资组合中几乎赚不到什么钱。

Yet three factors are conspiring to bring that figure down. The first is technology. In 2001 Credit Suisse tried to go budget with a pan-European online network. But the cost quintupled to €500m ($447m), in part because it relied on huge servers. Today data are in the cloud, and firms can bolt on apps instead of coding everything.

然而,有三个因素正在共同发挥作用,拉低这一门槛。首先是技术。2001年,瑞信(Credit Suisse)尝试通过一个泛欧在线网络做预算,但成本增加了四倍,达到5亿欧元(4.47亿美元),部分原因是这个网络依赖巨型服务器。如今,数据存储在云端,企业可以方便地往已有应用上添加功能,而不再需要为所有东西编程。

Second, the top of the pyramid is getting crowded. Banks love wealth management, with its high returns and low need for capital. As they have all tried to expand their high-net-worth offerings, competition has squeezed margins. The market value of a panel of 100-odd wealth managers has dropped by 15% in the last year, using Bloomberg data.

其次,金字塔的塔尖越来越拥挤。财富管理的回报高,资本需求低,因而很受银行青睐。各家银行都试图拓展高净值理财产品,竞争压缩了利润。彭博的数据显示,去年100多家财富管理机构的总市值下降了15%。

Third, negative interest rates are eroding the money held by the masses, about half of which is in cash deposits. So clients are crying for help.

第三,负利率正让大众手里的钱(约一半是现金存款)贬值。客户因此急需帮助。

That has sparked a race between banks, fintechs and investment firms. Wealth managers need several strengths to succeed, says Matthias Memminger of Bain, a consultancy: technology, trusted brands, marketing dollars and a human touch. Private banks have the last three, but score poorly on IT. They also fear cannibalising their high-net-worth business. UBS shut its robo-adviser in 2018, a year after launch. Investec, a bank, folded its own in May.

这引发了银行、金融科技公司和投资公司之间的激烈竞争。咨询公司贝恩的马蒂亚斯·梅明格(Matthias Memminger)说,财富管理机构要取得成功需具备以下优势:技术、受信赖的品牌、营销资金及人性化服务。私人银行具备后三项优势,但在IT方面处于弱势。它们还担心大众理财业务会冲击高净值业务。2018年,瑞银关停了仅推出一年的智能投顾业务。天达银行(Investec)也于去年5月关停了这项业务。

Startups have the opposite profile. Their robo-advisers generate recommendations by asking simple questions, keeping fees down. They allow customers to buy fractions of shares, and net out orders to reduce trading costs. But their brands are weaker, so acquiring customers costs more. And clients entrust them with only smallish sums. Launched in 2011, Nutmeg manages just £1.9bn ($2.5bn), and Wealthfront, a decade-old American firm, $22bn.

创业公司的情况正相反。它们的智能投顾通过问一些简单的问题为客户提供建议,因而收费低廉。它们允许客户购买少量股票,汇集订单以减少交易成本。但创业公司的品牌较弱,获得客户的成本也就更高。客户交给它们投资的资金也不多。创立于2011年的Nutmeg管理资产总计仅19亿英镑(25亿美元)。美国公司Wealthfront成立已有十年,资产管理规模为220亿美元。

Brokers and asset managers also have good technology, which they use to compile data and execute trades. They pile clients’ money into cheap exchange-traded funds and have cut fees to rock-bottom, hoping to cross-sell premium products. Charles Schwab’s robo-adviser manages $41bn; Vanguard’s, $140bn. But their expertise lies in manufacturing investment products, not distributing them. They help people pursue single investment goals, not plan their financial life.

经纪公司和资产管理公司也拥有良好的技术,它们用这些技术来汇编数据、执行交易。它们把客户的资金大量投入廉价的交易所交易基金,并把费用压到最低水平,希望能交叉销售高端产品。嘉信理财(Charles Schwab)的智能投顾管理着410亿美元的资产;先锋领航的智能投顾管理1400亿美元。但它们的专长是打造而不是分销投资产品。它们帮助人们追求单一的投资目标,而不是做长期的财务规划。

To tick all the boxes, contenders are combining forces. In May Goldman Sachs paid $750m for United Capital, a tech-savvy manager. It has also invested in Nutmeg. BlackRock has backed Scalable Capital, a digital service whose robo-adviser is used by banks including ING and Santander. Insurers are jumping in, too. Nucoro, a fintech, recently said that it would power Swiss Risk & Care. Allianz has tied up with Moneyfarm, a British robo-adviser.

为了让自己具备所有的优势,竞争者正在整合力量。去年5月,高盛斥资7.5亿美元收购了精通技术的财富管理公司联合资本(United Capital),还投资了Nutmeg。贝莱德投资了数字服务公司Scalable Capital,荷兰国际集团(ING)和桑坦德(Santander)等银行都在用这家公司的智能投顾。保险公司也加入进来。金融科技公司Nucoro近期表示将投资Swiss Risk&Care。安联已与英国智能投顾公司Moneyfarm达成合作。

The logical endpoint is financial platforms—perhaps super-apps that sit on smartphones—which would let customers stitch their patchwork of financial products back together. But the model has not yet been tested by rough economic weather. Volatility makes financial clients prize human contact, says Christian Edelmann of Oliver Wyman. The consultancy reckons the average cost-to-income ratio for the biggest wealth managers would jump from 77% to 91% in a recession. It remains to be seen how well mass-market wealth managers will perform in a downturn. ■

最终的发展趋势应该是建立金融平台(也许是安装在智能手机中的超级应用),让客户可以统一管理他们零散的理财产品。但这一模式尚未经受过恶劣经济环境的检验。奥纬咨询的克里斯蒂安·埃德曼(Christian Edelmann)表示,由于波动性的存在,理财客户更重视真人提供的服务。这家咨询公司估计,在经济衰退期间,最大的那些财富管理公司的平均成本收入比会从77%跃升至91%。面向大众市场的财富管理公司在低迷时期的表现还有待观察。

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