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UHNW Using Mobile Tech As Key Wealth Building Tools

Wendy Connett

1 March 2011

The ultra wealthy are increasingly embracing improving mobile technologies as key wealth building tools, research by Spectrem Group has found.

This is good news for wealth managers who have developed mobile apps or plan to.

Citi Private Bank, which launched an Apple iPad application last year, will debut an iPhone application in the next few weeks, a spokesman for the private bank told Family Wealth Report.

The iPad app, Citi Private Bank Mobile, was designed exclusively for Citi Private Bank’s ultra high net worth clients. Users have the ability to view global economic commentary, global, equity and fixed income research, advisory services newsletters, finance reports as well as video interviews and commentary.

The spokesman said that in the first half of this year the application will be upgraded to allow clients to view account balance information.

Several reviews on iTunes, where the application can be downloaded, indicate users prefer onscreen over printed material.

Two-thirds of iPad owners use the tablet’s technologies to manage their finances, Spectrem’s 2010 Ultra High Net Worth Investor study found.

Other wealth managers that have developed iPad applications include Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan.

America’s mega millionaires, successful entrepreneurs and executives, are using mobile apps to create business networks, recruit talent, communicate with clients and research and manage their investments, according to Spectrem.

Ultra wealthy business owners, those with $5 million to $25 million in investable assets, are particularly media savvy. Forty per cent use Facebook, 32 per cent have LinkedIn accounts and 11 per cent own iPads, the study found.

The huge appetite for information has been fueled by technological improvements. One-third of ultra-wealthy Americans use podcasts and webinars.

The majority (80 per cent) uses the internet to communicate with their financial advisors. More than 90 per cent go online to research financial topics and products and pay bills. Almost all go online to access personal account information.

The ultra wealthy make up an older group with an average age of 67. Nearly two-thirds are retired. They fall into the fastest growing demographic for Facebook, which has added almost twice as many 50 to 63 year olds than users younger than 18, according to Spectrem.