Wealth management as an investment-advisory discipline incorporates financial planning, investment portfolio management and a number of aggregated financial services. High-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), small-business owners and families who desire the assistance of a credentialed financial advisory specialist call upon wealth managers to coordinate retail banking, estate planning, legal resources, tax professionals and investment management. Wealth managers can have backgrounds as independent Certified Financial Planners, MBAs, Canadian Chartered Strategic Wealth Professionals, CFA Charterholders or any credentialed professional money managers who work to enhance the income, growth and tax-favored treatment of long-term investors. Wealth management is often referred to[by whom?] as a high-level form of private banking for the especially affluent. One must already have accumulated a significant amount of wealth for wealth management strategies to be effective.
Private wealth management 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2007)|
Private wealth management (PWM) involves highly customized and sophisticated investment-management and financial-planning services delivered to high-net-worth investors. Generally this includes advice on the use of trusts and other estate planning vehicles, business-succession or stock-option planning, and the use of hedging derivatives for large blocks of stock.
Traditionally, the wealthiest retail clients of investment firms demanded a greater level of service, product offering and sales personnel than that received by average clients. With an increase in the number of affluent investors in recent years[when?], there has been an increasing demand for sophisticated financial solutions and expertise throughout the world.
The CFA Institute curriculum on private-wealth management indicates that two primary factors distinguish the issues facing individual investors from those facing institutions:
- Time horizons differ. Individuals face a finite life as compared to the theoretically/potentially infinite life of institutions. This fact requires strategies for transferring assets at the end of an individual's life. These transfers are subject to laws and regulations that vary from locality to locality and therefore the strategies available to address this situation vary.
- Individuals are more likely to face a variety of taxes on investment returns that vary from locality to locality. Portfolio-management techniques that provide individuals with after tax returns that meet their objectives must address such tax structures.
The term "wealth management" occurs as at least as early as 1933. It came into more general use in the elite retail (or "Private Client") divisions of firms such as Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley (before the Dean Witter Reynolds merger of 1997), to distinguish those divisions' services from mass-market offerings, but since has spread throughout the financial-services industry. Certain larger firms (UBS, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch) have "tiered" their platforms – with separate branch systems and advisor-training programs, distinguishing "Private Wealth Management" from "Wealth Management", with the latter term denoting the same type of services but with a lower degree of customization and delivered to mass affluent clients. At Morgan Stanley the "Private Wealth Management" retail division focuses on serving clients with greater than $20 million in investment assets while "Global Wealth Management" focuses on accounts smaller than $10 million.
In the late 1980s private banks and brokerage firms began to offer seminars and client events designed to showcase the expertise and capabilities of the sponsoring firm. Within a few years a new business model emerged – Family Office Exchange in 1990, the Institute for Private Investors in 1991, and CCC Alliance in 1995. These new entities aimed to educate the ultra-wealthy investor and to provide a network of peers for ultra-high-net-worth individuals and their families. Their growth since the 1990s indicates a market eager to become more informed about private wealth management with total IT spending (for example) by the global wealth management industry predicted to reach $35bn by 2016, including heavy investment in digital channels.
Several universities offer wealth-management education for private investors with substantial wealth. The standards and accrediting organization the American Academy of Financial Management (AAFN, later rebranded as the International Academy of Financial Management or IAFM) offered the first such program (the CWM Chartered Wealth Manager Program), followed by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1999 over 5000 people from over 100 countries have completed the IAFM CWM Wealth Manager program. At Wharton, 520 investors from 29 countries have completed a course. The five-day program is offered twice a year and is a continuing partnership with the Institute for Private Investors. Both the University of Chicago and Stanford University also offer 5-day programs. In 2009, Columbia University offered a three day program on value investing designed for high-net investors.
Wealth management can be provided by large corporate entities, independent financial advisers or multi-licensed portfolio managers whose services are designed[by whom?] to focus on high-net-worth clients. Large banks and large brokerage houses create segmentation marketing-strategies to sell both proprietary and non-proprietary products and services to investors designated as potential high-net-worth clients. Independent wealth-managers use their experience in estate planning, risk management, and their affiliations with tax and legal specialists, to manage the diverse holdings of high-net-worth clients. Banks and brokerage firms use advisory talent-pools to aggregate these same services.
The events of 2008 in the financial markets caused investors to address concerns within their portfolios. "The past 18 months have challenged traditional thinking about investing and asset allocation, diversification, and correlation. For individual investors, risk tolerances have been tested, investment assumptions have been overturned, and fundamental truisms have been questioned." For this reason wealth managers must be prepared to respond to a greater need by clients to understand, access, and communicate with advisers regarding their current relationship as well as the products and services that may satisfy future needs. Moreover, advisors must have sufficient information, from objective sources, regarding all products and services owned by their clients to answer enquiries regarding performance and degree of risk - at the client, portfolio and individual-security levels. "This state of affairs poses a dilemma for wealth managers, who, for a generation, have adhered to the core principles of asset allocation and earned their keep by preaching the mantras of 'buy and hold', 'invest for the long term', and when things get tough, 'stay the course'.”
As of 2013[update] wealth-management advisors must have access to an objective content repository. This repository must contain a current and readily available profile of the clients' holdings.
Private banking and wealth management rankings 
According to Euromoney's annual Private banking and wealth management ranking 2013, which consider (amongst other factors) assets under management, net income and net new assets, global private banking assets under management grew just 10.8%YoY (compared with 16.7% ten years ago).
"Best private banking services overall 2013". This table displays results of one category of the Private banking and wealth management ranking. 
|Rank 2013||Company||Rank 2012|
|7||Merrill Lynch Wealth Management||9|
- Fowler, William Franklin (1933). Fishermen and fish: A sequel to For America, an interpretation and plan. Lynbrook, N.Y: W.F. Fowler. p. 38. Retrieved 2013-01-30. "To the inefficiency of political control of government, which is the principal cause of unsound conditions, they would grant the additional authority and responsibility of wealth management."
- Wealth Management Technology Spending Through 2016 (July 2012)
- International Academy of Financial Management
- Wharton Private Wealth Management Program Graduate Profile
- Directory of wealth management providers for high-net worth clients, MyPrivateBanking Research
- Yeh, C: "Investors Challenge Market 'Truths'", CFA Institute Private Wealth Management, August 2009.
- Costa, L: "Questions Replace Investment 'Truths': A Comment", CFA Institute Private Wealth Management, May 2009.
- Annual private banking industry assets under management
- Euromoney magazine. February 2013. Annual rankings based on peer nominations (75%) and financial data (25%)
- Euromoney magazine. February 2013. Annual ranking, Best private banks and wealth managers. The ranking is based on a combinaition of peer nominations and financial data.
Further reading 
- Beyer, Charlotte B. (2008). "A Retrospective and A Prospectus for the Future", The Journal of Wealth Management, Winter 2008.