Wealth brands are making big moves to cater to mass market and affluent consumers.
Only months following Charles Schwab’s acquisition of TD Ameritrade, two more digital powerhouses in the wealth management market are joining forces. Morgan Stanleyannounced yesterday the purchase of E-Trade, creating a leader in all major wealth management channels and will result in a combined management of $3.1 trillion in client assets. According to the press release, this transaction creates complementary products and services, which rings true when comparing both brands digitally in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Wealth and Asset Management.
E-Trade’s focus on smaller retail investors for self-directed accounts didn’t justify the higher cost of human financial advisor services, now offset by Morgan Stanley’s advisor network and best-in-class advisor matching experience onmorganstanley.com. In contrast, E-Trade’s brand site and Twitter customer service scores made the top 10 across 75 tracked brands, bolstered by a need to scale multi-channel customer support across 5.2M retail investor accounts.
As net new business remains sluggish, expect wealth brands to continue expanding their digital competence either through mergers and acquisitions or by developing their own tech in-house and launching hybrid robo-advisors.