In the eternal debate on what is the best business model for ultra high net worth clients, managers at Wells Fargo’s recently rebranded Abbot Downing unit in the US are emphatic that being part of something much bigger works for its customers.
Abbot Downing serves UHNW individuals and families with at least $50 million in investable assets, and is an integration of Wells Fargo Family Wealth and Lowry Hill.
At present, the vast majority of its clients are existing Wells Fargo clients rather than outsiders. Such a high percentage of in-house Wells Fargo clients - the firm does not give an exact figure - does not faze Abbott Downing managers at all - in fact theyare proud of the market share this brings.
“A large majority of Abbot Downing’s new business comes from existing Wells Fargo clients. Wells Fargo has a lovely advantage of serving one in three households in the US,” Mary Mewha, regional managing director at the firm, told this publication at a recent interview at the firm’s offices in San Francisco’s financial district.
“It is a natural that when large fortunes are being created and there is a liquidity event, we are at the table,” Mewha said.
However, when asked if the number of non-Wells Fargo clients should increase, Mewha replied: “I like to think so.”