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Team project(2 designers),2020

Client: A major international private bank

My role: Project management, research, stakeholder management and analysis, prototyping, workshop planning, implementation and persona development

Duration: 8 months

Tutor: Nick de Leon, Andrea Edmunds

Project Brief

Our project sponsor, Private Bank, recognises that the world of wealth is changing. Over the next decade almost 20% of global wealth is expected to change hands and pass to younger generations. The nature of Private Bank clients is changing with a new generation of clients who have very different attitudes, personal and financial goals and ways of communicating and interacting than the current established client base. These clients will likely have a minimum total net worth in excess of US $50mm and will be able to fund an account with the Private Bank to the tune of US $25mm and above. (Ultra High Net Worth Individuals and High Net Worth Individuals)

The overall goal of this project is to enable their Marketing Department to provide these clients with the right information, at the right time, through the proper channels according to their preferences, and to design models for determining these preferences as well as acting on the results of the interactions with the clients.

Name of the company has been omitted to comply with an NDA.


The process involves 6 distinct stages –Scoping, Discovery/Understanding, Framing the problem, concept generation, prototyping and testing, delivery as shown in the figure below.

The research has involved interviewing 20+ High Net Worth Individuals and Ultra High Net Worth individuals who are representative of the Private Banking Client base, hosting a workshop with Private Bank executives and an analysis of 35 consultant and analysts reports. We started our research with a wider scope so we could better understand the external pressures and constraints within the industry. We looked into the market environment and found three fundamental changes which might influence private bank marketing strategy.

Our research was informed by interviews as well as presentations by the bank's Marketing team which provided us with valuable background associated with the current marketing programmes, organisational structure, internal stakeholders and systems, as well as the recent branding work undertaken by the Marketing. This work relates to the Private bank brand promise, how they communicate to its clients through its marketing content and programmes, as well as the attributes of the brand that are delivered through the front line teams. The insights that led to the importance of creativity and empathy by front line teams, wealth managed with intent to create impact, expert insights married with uncommon access resonated strongly with everything we had discovered in our interviews and desk research.

Research Themes


A new generation UHNWIs are emerging with very different personality traits to the HNWIs of the previous generation.

​Clear Generation gap

"They want to be served differently and tend to access to wealth management service at  generally easier age."

Anonymous, Private banker


The intergenerational transfer of wealth is evident and accelerating.

Changing of the Guard

Next generation demands that all transactions be conducted quickly and instant responses to questions through digital services. They want fast and seamless onboarding when they change firms.

Mckindsy and Banks and bank systems


Digital technology is contributing to changes in the way the client engage.

Tech savvy 

"The future is a channel-agnostic world, powered by data and technology integrations. In five to six years' time, wealth managers must be able to deliver consistent compliant digital processes globally."

Anonymous, Head of private bank

The challenge: From origination to onboaring


The new next generations are emerging with very different personality traits to the previous generations in terms of thoughts, lifestyles, better education, etc. There is a very clear generational difference from a client base that is extraordinarily discreet to one that is more open and accessible. Therefore, the Private Bank has fewer opportunities to build trust and engagement, and it is getting harder to prospect new clients and to get referrals from existing clients.


When the Private Bank prospects people, they spend a lot of money, time and resources trying to attract clients to come through the door, as the clients' journeys start much earlier than the Bank's. They are missing these points along the way. Also, there is a massive drop off in clients at the onboarding phase, and a considerable wealth transfer to the younger generation, which brings challenges for attracting new and potential clients and maintaining the existing client base.

Stakeholder Map

The networks are mapped out to understand their internal relationships and how to enhance the connections as a holistic view. It is influential and crucial for the Private bank as an opportunity to maintain their ties because the clients' networks are much broader which client advisors hardly experienced before. They need to identify and ‘early’ engagement in new opportunities by leveraging knowledge and expertise across the Private bank as well as its extended networks.


Target Analysis

The research has considered the changing characteristics of the next generation client and we created a series of personas or archetypes to represent the different market segments of current and potential clients. We explored their attitudes to wealth and its application, their values and how this might shape their goals, the how they use technology, their preferred communication channels and their relationship with those who advise them and help them manage their wealth, including the different intermediaries and circles of influence.

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Key Insights



The next generations of clients need the services of a Private Bank for specific opportunities, such as a tool for their personalised financial issues. We believe that 'Supercharge Empathy' and 'Making Connections' would help Client Advisors to have a deeper understanding of clients and to respond quickly across generations. Furthermore, it would be better to extend the Private Bank's influence on the intermediaries and penetrate circles of influence.


Mobius is a digital platform designed to enable intergenerational wealth management with expert and empathic wealth services spanning the generations, supporting families to fulfil their individual and collective aspirations.

It enables families to share the information they feel comfortable about sharing, whether its about their goals and aspirations or specific financial content. It provides the family's private banker with a comprehensive view of their common as well as individual and interactions. 


A user can compare different investment personalities and preferences so that the user together with their family members can develop mutually agreeable strategies to meet their shared goals, and can manage all of the family’s finances. It also enables private bankers to see how the investment personalities differ across the family and find better guidance as well as strategies to benefit the whole family, so everyone is in control of what they want to share.

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