Advisor | May 2024

Financial consultancy is experiencing a moment of profound change and dynamism as demonstrated by four recent news events.

The first is the reorganization of Intesa Sanpaolo’s Wealth Management, established to encourage greater integration between the Group companies: under the direction of Tommaso Corcos, three divisions Asset Management, Insurance, Private Banking and the Fideuram, San Paolo Invest and IW.

The second fact is the birth of a new bank within the Azimut group, Pietro Giuliani has entrusted Paolo Martini with the project of creating a fintech, bringing in 1,000 financial consultants capable of combining financial consultancy and digital banking with business services.  

The third fact is the birth of Mediobanca Premier, which combines Mediobanca’s specialization in Corporate and Investment Banking with the innovation and multi-channel consultancy model of CheBanca! with the aim of enhancing its services also among the SME segment and their owners.

The fourth fact concerns the BNL-BNP Paribas Life Banker network, which Stefano Manfrone will lead into the world of BNP Wealth Management, also enhancing the new structure of Bnp Paribas Bnl Equity Investments created to purchase minority shares of Italian SMEs to relaunch them.

These are only four more recent facts, we could find as many others as there are other networks that are protagonists of the market: Allianz, Banca Patrimoni Sella & C., Credem, Fineco, Mediolanum, Widiba and Zurich Bank.

Five factors explain the rationale behind these manoeuvres and others that will be announced soon.

The first is the search for commission sources, in view of the next progressive lowering of rates, necessary both to remunerate shareholders and to guarantee sustainable growth with investments in innovation, communication, increasing the ability to attract new customers who are currently not adequately served.

The second is the expansion of financial consultancy to protection, a truly unexplored field: in Italy only 10% of the population is adequately protected from the most basic risks, both in the non-life and life sectors, with private clients and entrepreneurs being no exception. with a paltry 25% correctly insured against individual and corporate risks. 

The third is the expansion of services to Italian SMEs, the backbone of the country, necessary both to support their growth and, more prosaically, to intercept the so-called liquidity events linked to the sale or consolidation of company shares in view of the next step generational.

The fourth is that financial consultancy that includes banking services, credit, protection and asset management is more effective in attracting new professionals, especially, but not only, from the banking sector: it is estimated that in the next few years in Italy there will be space for at least 10,000 new financial advisors.

The fifth factor is exogenous and concerns the imminent arrival of the Retail Investment Strategy and the concept of open finance, i.e. the sharing of data on savers to third parties, on which European regulation does not give up: the only solution is advanced consultancy that includes savings management, credit and protection.

In light of all this, it seems clear that for financial consultancy, being a triune is no longer an option but a necessity for its future.

Nicola Ronchetti