Keynote speakers from many of Odyssey's customers and partners worldwide led plenary sessions and workshops. Represented firms included ABN AMRO Netherlands, CIBC Asia, Barclays UK, Deutsche Bank Belgium, Accenture Paris, Cutter Associates US, Renaissance Capital Moscow, Bank Ehinger & Armand von Ernst, Zurich, Bank Degroof Brussels, and the Banque Cantonale Vaudoise (BCV) in Lausanne.
James Hollis, CFA, facilitated the round table discussion, A global comparison of major wealth management trends and the evolution of HNWI in regional markets. Mr. Hollis, a Managing Director with Cutter Associates, highlighted the growth in global competition and the importance of technology in the wealth management industry. He shared his expertise on differentiation, segmentation, open architecture, virtual collaboration and service delivery.
According to Mr. Hollis, "Holistic client-based advisory product/service is very technology supported and obviously promotes capabilities that are becoming
significant competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive industry. Although the demographics worldwide show a significant growth in affluence and need for wealth management in both developed and developing countries, many surveys still indicate the industry has yet to truly satisfy their clientsâ needs."
The roundtable concluded that the wealth management industry focus appears to have returned to increasing revenue rather than cutting costs and that increasingly rigorous compliance and regulatory requirements are a continuing global trend. Mr. Hollis commented that the US regulator, the Securities exchange Commission, is now "fully funded and fully staffed and cooperating with overseas regulators in Europe and Asia to do a more constructive and efficient oversight of the investment management industry". He went on to explain the differences in the US wealth management marketplace compared the European venue and the apparent trend toward uniform regulation for all participants.