OK, it’s a trick question. Why? Because precious few wealth managers have what we would define as a meaningful brand. That is, one that helps them stand out from the pack, connect with prospects and grow organically.
The really big banks have brands. They’re expensively researched, expensively executed, and typically pretty hollow. That makes them vulnerable. Why? Because ultimately a brand creates a sense of intimacy and trust between you and your prospects. And since the banks are gigantic and impersonal and monolithic, it’s hard for them to make good on that promise of a one-to-one relationship. Since you’re independent and smaller than they are -- not to mention unencumbered by their conflicts of interest -- it’s a lot more credible for you to communicate and make good on a genuine feeling of empathy for prospects.
So the question stands: Who has a great wealth management brand? We’re not saying they don’t exist, we just rarely see them. This is a huge opportunity for RIAs.