Assets under management growth is expected to slow from 7 percent per year to 5 percent per year until 2020, says an Oliver Wyman Wealth Management report co-authored by Deutsche Bank Research. The report, "Running Faster to Stand Still," goes on to say fees may come under pressure due to demands for greater transparency, new competitors and a shift to passive products, like ETFs. “The forces that drove performance in wealth management in recent years are changing, and firms will need to take action on costs and develop new ways of engaging with clients to maintain revenues,” says Christian Edelmann, global head of Oliver Wyman’s Wealth and Asset Management practice. For firms looking to sustain their profitability over the next few years, the report makes a few suggestions, including digitizing aspects of their practices, redoubling client acquisition efforts and adding new platforms that allow for varied investment opportunities, such as direct real estate investment for clients.
Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos is now the third wealthiest person in the world, passing Berskshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Bezos' net worth as of Thursday was $65.05 billion, putting him $32 million ahead of Buffett. Buffett's net worth dipped in recent weeks following his $2.86 billion donation to a variety of charities, including $2.2 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Even with the donation, Buffett's net worth rose by $2.7 billion in 2016. Bezos' wealth increased by $5.4 billion this year. The top two richest people in the world are Spain's Amancio Ortega, founder of clothing retailer Zara, at No. 2, worth $73.8 billion, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the richest person in the world, at $88.6 billion.
The past several years have seen art collectors go on a heretofore unprecedented spending spree. However, those days may be coming to an end. The Wall Street Journal reports that Christie’s International’s sales for the first half of 2016 are down 33 percent from the same period last year, at $3 billion. Part of the reason for the decline in sales is that art lovers appear increasingly content to buy cheaper pieces. Only 29 works sold for over $6.5 million during the reporting period. Last year, 47 such big-ticket items were sold by this point.