Bank of Nova Scotia has rebranded a number of its investment services under a single entity – Scotia Wealth Management – to offer financial planning in a one-stop shop for clients.
The new brand will combine services such as financial planning, investment management, private banking, insurance, business transition planning, and estate and trust services – all under one roof.
"Across the entire wealth management industry, there are a number of referral arrangements that can bounce a client around, and what we are hearing is that approach really doesn't feel personalized to the customer," said Glen Gowland, senior vice-president, Canadian wealth management, at Scotiabank. "To tackle that problem, we have created integrated teams that can look at all the financial needs of an individual and do it in a simultaneous and personalized way."
As a result of the restructuring, investment brands ScotiaMcLeod, Scotiatrust, Private Investment Counsel (which includes 1832 Asset Management LP) and Private Banking will no longer be seen among consumer signage, and about 100 offices across Canada will be rebranded Scotia Wealth Management.
Within those offices, clients will be able to consult a team that consists of an investment adviser, a private investment counsellor, a trust and estate specialist, a private banker and insurance consultants. (Private bankers will also assist clients with mortgage needs.)
"It's been really easy to get advice on one aspect of your financial needs, but really difficult if you want a holistic view on the bigger picture," Mr. Gowland said. "We want to make sure the client knows that we know their entire financial picture and that they don't feel like a stranger when they begin to deal with other professionals across our organization."
Before developing the Scotia Wealth Management brand, the bank conducted global research over the past two years through conversations with clients, customers, investors and advisers.
"The research showed that the traditional industry model of wealth management is no longer what clients are looking for," Mr. Gowland said. "Clients' needs are evolving and we need to service those needs in the best way possible."
Also during the research phase, Scotiabank restructured select offices to test markets and found that the new approach will allow it to tailor offices to individual markets. In areas of Canada where there is a higher density of retirees, the bank will increase services related to wills and estate planning and philanthropic services, whereas a market with younger business owners may need to focus more on private banking and borrowing strategies.
The integrated pilot offices also saw an increase in client assets (for both new and existing clients) and, on average, clients used double the services of the traditional wealth management model.
The idea of housing a number of services under one roof is not a new concept within the wealth management industry, said Dan Richards, chief executive officer of ClientInsights, a consultant to financial advisory firms.
"We have seen investment firms do this in the past in order to simplify the message to clients and prospective clients," Mr. Richards said. "And we will continue to see this type of offering as the industry increasingly shifts towards adding more value for clients. We no longer see the industry defining value through investment performance alone, but rather advisers are now looking hard at how they add value that is concrete and tangible and that includes broadening the range of advice they are offering, and to do that you need outside experts."