Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water

Identifying the Hidden Assets in Your Client Base

In a recent Kehrer Bielan flash survey, 71% of the 47 participating firms indicated that they are segmenting their client base and limiting access to traditional across-the-desk advisors for clients with small account holdings, typically less than $50,000. But, based on our client level data, many of those customers have investable assets stashed at other firms. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know which clients have significant assets that you haven’t captured yet? And whether you were degrading your chances of attracting those assets by assigning the client to a call center or digital platform?

Working with the Consumer Financial Decision Group and its MacroMonitor database of a nationally representative sample of 4,200 households, we found a window into those hidden assets. We identified how much of their investable assets each household held where they bank and elsewhere. In the chart below we array those households by how much they have at the bank, and then identify how much hidden assets each group has.


For example, the households that have accounts between $25,000 and $35,000 with the bank have an average of $175,000 in assets held at other firms. And households that hold between $50,000 and $100,000 where they bank have an average of $353,000 held elsewhere.

Our research is now digging deeper into the households that have more than $100,000 in hidden assets, identifying their characteristics so that you can improve your segmentation strategy. And we’re learning the characteristics of investors who would be disenchanted by being assigned to a call center or self-directed or digital advice platform.

We presented some preliminary findings at our Study Group for top bank investment services executives last month in Chapel Hill. We’ll be reporting more on this research in the coming months.

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