MARK HALVERSON, ACCENTURE: The wealth and asset management sector within Accenture falls into three categories: advisory services; asset investment management; and trust and custody.
The advisory business includes traditional advice-led capabilities, as practised in the US by organisations like the “old” Merrill Lynch, Wachovia Securities and AG Edwards. In Australia there has been significant acquisition of advisory firms, so banks and advisory firms are becoming one and the same. Our advisory business also covers insurance investments and cash management.
The second area of investment and asset management relates to mutual funds, pension funds, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds. That area is traditionally focused on achieving alpha. We assist that model by showing firms how to lower their expense ratio as well as achieve alpha. The third category we deal with is trust and custody. We are seeing a lot of activity in terms of globalisation in this arena. Most advisory firms are strategising to get into emerging markets and many are looking at their custodians to help them get there.