Top Wealth Management Firms

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When you're in the process of selecting the best wealth management firm to work for, some factors to narrow the field is to focus on the top firms in to look at profitability, wealth manager head count and outlook for the wealth management business shared by the management.

Key Takeaways

  • Wealth management firms offer financial and investment advisory to high networth clients
  • Wealth management could be a lucrative career path
  • Factors to consider jobs at a wealth management firm include profitability, wealth manager head count and management's outlook for the business

What Is a Wealth Management Firm?

Wealth management firms offer a wide range of financial and investment advisory services, typically, to high networth clients. Although the definition of the wealth market is a highly elastic one and it can vary by firm, a generally accepted variant includes clients with at least $1 million in financial assets, but many firms set the bar lower.

Here's a look at some of the big named wealth management firm, in no particular order.


In 2021, UBS generated roughly $4.8 billion in pre-tax profit from wealth management activities, representing a little over 50% of $9.48 billion pre-tax profit for the firm as a whole.

While UBS is known for its aggressive cost and headcount-cutting, at the end of 2021, UBS had more than 9,300 financial and wealth advisors.


In January 2022, UBS agreed to acquire digital wealth management company Wealthfront in a push to attract Gen Z and millennial wealth management client. The deal will add more than 470,000 clients with over $27 billion in assets to UBS.

Bank of America

Many people know Bank of America as their friendly neighborhood Bank offering senior citizens free checking.  Actually, Bank of America is the parent company of Merrill Lynch, and it also includes its Bank of America Private Wealth Management divisions in its segment reporting for Global Wealth and Investment Management.

In 2021, the net income for Bank of America's global wealth management business, clocked nearly $4.33 billion. At the end of 2021, the company had a huge roster of more than 18,800 wealth advisors.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers diverse wealth management services. For 2021, Wells Fargo's wealth and investment management business segment reported net income of over $2 billion, which represents around 9% of the the firm's total $21.5 billion net income for the year.

When Wells Fargo received the blessing of the FDIC to acquire Wachovia's banking operation (in 2008) it made Wells Fargo a major national player in securities brokerage. 

At the end of 2021, Wells Fargo's financial and wealth advisor count stood at 12,367.

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse is a major player in private banking as well as securities brokerage, and it also has a diversified wealth management business. In 2021, its international wealth management business reported CHF 926 million (about $940 million).

In order to improve efficiencies and growth the business segment, Credit Suisse announced certain restructuring measures that went into effect starting January 2022.

As of 2021, Credit Suisse had over 8,000 employees in ints international wealth management division.

JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase is an amalgamation of Bank One, Chase Bank, and the old-line Wall Street investment banking and wealth management firm J.P. Morgan & Co. In 2021, the company's asset and wealth management business segment reported net income of $4.7 billion. At the end of year, the company had over 2,700 private bank client advisors.

Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is one of the oldest firms on Wall Street with its operations dating back to 1935. Like many other Wall Street firms, had a wide spectrum of client services including wealth management. Its wealth management operations were greatly enhanced in 2009 when Morgan Stanley and Citigroup announced the merger of Smith Barney with Morgan Stanley's Global Wealth Management Group. The merged entity was a behemoth with more than 20,000 advisors and $1.7 trillion in client assets at the time.Just three years later, Morgan Stanley announced its intention on taking full control over the venture.

In 2021, Morgan Stanley's wealth management business segment reported $6.2 billion in pre-tax income.


Continuing with its strategy of boosting its wealth management business through acquisitions, Morgan Stanley announced its acquisition of E*Trade in 2020.


HSBC is a global banking giant a large number of offerings such as wealth management, geared towards wealthy clients, especially in Asia.


In 2021, HSBC sold off its mass retail banking business in the U.S. to consolidate focus on its wealth management operations.

Deutsche Bank

Founded in 1870, Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank has been a major name in international banking for a very long time. As is true for many other major banks, its offerings for high net worth clients include private banking and wealth management.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do wealth management firms do?

Wealth management firms offer financial advice, typically, to high net worth clients who meet a certain threshold for assets. Their offerings could range from investments, tax planning, estate planning or any other aspects of generating and protecting their clients' wealth. In exchange for their services, wealth management firms charge an annual management fees, normally, a percentage of the client's assets.

What is a private wealth manager?

A private wealth manager is a professional who works with high net worth and wealthy clients to offer them investment and financial advice. You can find private wealth managers at wealth management firm or even the private banking divisions of major banks.

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  1. UBS. "2021 4th Quarter Media Release (Download)."

  2. UBS. "2021 4th Quarter Presentation Slides (Download.)"

  3. UBS. "UBS agrees to acquire Wealthfront to deliver digital wealth management offering to millennial and Gen Z affluent investors."

  4. Bank of America. "Form 10-K," Page 42-43.

  5. Wells Fargo. "4Q21 Quarterly Supplement," Page 5 and Page 16.

  6. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. "The Acquisition of Wachovia Corporation by Wells Fargo & Company."

  7. Wells Fargo. "4Q21 Financial Results Presentation," Page 14.

  8. Credit Suisse. "Annual Report 2021," Page 79 and Page 4 (Download).

  9. JPMorgan Chase & Co. "History of Our Firm."

  10. JPMorgan Chase & Co. "Consolidated financial statements and Notes and Supplementary information," Page 141.

  11. JPMorgan Chase & Co. "2021 Annual Report," Page 10.

  12. Morgan Stanley. "History."

  13. Citigroup. "Morgan Stanley and Citi to Form Industry-Leading Wealth Management Business Through Joint Venture."

  14. Morgan Stanley. "Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is Now Morgan Stanley Wealth Management."

  15. Morgan Stanley. "Morgan Stanley Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Earnings Results," Page 5.

  16. Morgan Stanley. "Morgan Stanley to Acquire E*TRADE, Creating a Leader in all Major Wealth Management Channels."

  17. HSBC. "HSBC exits US mass market retail banking."

  18. Deutsche Bank. "History."

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