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What is the difference between the two?

Today in the FT I see that UBS is the second biggest 'wealth manager' after BOA whilst I was always under the impression that Blackrock was the largest asset manager.

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Started a discussion about whether this should be within the scope: meta.quant.stackexchange.com/questions/51/… –  Shane Feb 8 '11 at 14:12
    
Removed the "general" tag because meta tags are discouraged on StackExchange. –  Shane Feb 8 '11 at 14:16
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closed as off topic by chrisaycock, Shane, goric, Joel Spolsky Feb 8 '11 at 19:28

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2 Answers

Wealth management typically refers to the management of the personal wealth of high net worth (HNW) individuals. Asset management, on the other hand, usually means managing the assets on the behalf of a larger entity (pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, etc).

  • Some banks provide both services
  • Some larger entities do their own asset management (some less successfully, like Harvard)
  • Wealth management could be used even by smaller banks for retail customer assets (401k allocation, etc)
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Put Simply:

asset management is about producing growth. wealth management is about preserving principle.

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