The wealth management, investment management and life insurance industries across the Western world are in a state of seismic change, just as the wealthiest generation of our times ― the baby boomers ― enters retirement. Combined with the needs of this aging population, regulation in all guises ― including RDR and pension freedoms in the U.K., MiFID II and Solvency II across Europe, and the Fiduciary Rule in the U.S. ― is impacting the nature of permissible business models, distribution and service propositions.
This is providing opportunities for our wealth and investment management clients to embrace discontinuities and step-change their participation in one of the most attractive sectors within financial services. Our clients also continue to explore opportunities both in pensions, including DB and DC pensions for the retired population, and in technology-enabled “robo” solutions to millennials.
Clients turn to L.E.K. to provide clarity and strategic support in their search for sustainable business models and profitable growth.
How we help
We work with participants across the investments and life insurance value chain, providing in-depth experience in working with discretionary wealth managers, financial advisory firms (IFAs, RIAs), investment platforms (B2B and B2C), open/closed book life insurance companies, asset managers and funeral plans providers. Our clients also include a number of important service providers to this sector, including trust services, pension administration, tax-efficient wrap providers, technology providers and actuarial consultancies. We have broad-based international coverage across the sector.
Our experienced team offers profound, holistic and deep understanding of the market context, key business challenges and value levers in the investments industry. Our approach is bespoke, often complemented by an independent perspective of the external environment in which companies operate. We work with senior leadership teams, boards and investors to:
- Develop organic growth strategies: Challenges center around creating winning and future-proof business models that help win new clients, both through expanding into new markets and through gaining market share. Questions we address include everything from “Which customer segments should we target and how?,” “How should our routes to market evolve in light of regulatory change?,” “Should we be a vertically integrated investment firm?,” “How do we continue to grow on an organic basis?” and “What does it take to win against our competitors?” through to “Who could be the winners and losers as new competing products grow, and what does this mean for our business?”
- Develop and assist in executing inorganic growth strategies: We assist both corporate and private equity clients in the full life cycle of investments in these markets ― from framing the investment thesis and supporting the commercial assessment of the opportunity at acquisition, including synergy assessment, to creating value enhancement strategies for portfolio companies and helping position businesses for success at sale.
- Optimize businesses for success: We help our clients maximize the value within their businesses, including meaningful and actionable customer segmentation, proposition design, pricing structure reviews, cost-to-serve assessment and optimization, and the appropriate leverage of technology to drive business improvement. Our approach is fact-based and uses data and analytical approaches to uncover value that is uncommon in the wealth management industry.
Examples of our work
To learn more about how we help clients create value, please refer to these case examples:
- We advised a financial investor in establishing a platform to consolidate the U.K. wealth management market and supported management in identifying and quantifying revenue and cost synergies. The business is the most successful consolidator in the U.K. and has achieved significant growth, with its AUM now in excess of £20 billion.
- We advised the senior management team of a specialist insurance provider in redefining its B2B go-to-market strategy by assessing the attractiveness of all key B2B and B2B2C distribution channels. Subsequently we advised on prioritizing internal resources to focus on key B2B partnerships, and our work also underpinned the business case to develop a distribution business.
- We advised the shareholders and management team in turning around a consolidation platform by conducting a detailed operational review, including customer segmentation, identification and quantification of price optimization opportunities, assessments of advisor productivity, and identification of significant profit enhancement potential. We also supported management in designing an implementation plan that has delivered the identified upsides.
- We supported a financial investor in acquiring an actuarial consulting provider by demonstrating the significant short-term demand for its services (particularly from derisking of DB schemes) and the longevity of demand for actuarial services. The business has since been successfully listed on the London Stock Exchange.