Banking Crisis

What Greek Euro Exit Would Mean For Wealth Management – WealthBriefing Poll

Max Skjönsberg London 21 May 2012


Ahead of the weekend, this publication sought views from wealth managers on the likelihood of a Greek departure - or "Grexit" - from the eurozone and its impact on the wealth industry.

The impact of Greece leaving the eurozone would at the very least have a damaging effect on the wealth management industry, according to a WealthBriefing poll of European wealth managers and private banks.

Fitch Ratings today downgraded Greece credit rating to CCC from B-, citing the “heightened risk that Greece may not be able to sustain its membership of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)”. Senior wealth managers are of similar mind: not a single firm, out of about a dozen polled, said that the risk is lower than 50 per cent when quizzed by this publication this week, and some said that the risk is as high as 95 per cent.

“Attaching a specific probability is of little importance, suffice it to say that we consider it a matter of when and not if Greece leaves,” Paul Marson, chief investment officer of the private banking unit of Lombard Odier, told this publication.

The possibility of a Greek exit has been in the headlines for a long time but pressure has been built since an indecisive election in the country at the start of May, when the electorate was perceived as protesting against the bailout deal struck with the other euro members. A fresh election will be held on 17 June, and fringe parties opposed to the deal are ahead in the polls.

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