JPMorgan bets on new wealth planning tool to draw investments

By Tatiana Bautzer

NEW YORK (Reuters) -JPMorgan Chase seeks to expand the reach of its wealth management business and bring in more investments by offering a new planning tool to its 54 million Chase retail customers.

The Wealth Plan tool had about 10 million users active over the last three months, said Sam Palmer, the general manager of JPMorgan’s Chase Sapphire credit card program who was previously in charge of wealth products. The total number of users is higher but undisclosed by the bank.

Clients have created roughly a million financial plans, double the number that had been previously created directly with financial advisers, he said.

“Planning helps people think about what they truly want in life,” Kristin Lemkau, CEO of JPMorgan Wealth Management, said in a statement. “It’s not enough to say you want to retire. Yes, but when? Where?”

For example, clients can use the tool to include retirement locations and fine-tune their estimated living costs. The tool can also initiate meetings with financial advisers, who also use it to design the plans.

JPMorgan is the largest U.S. bank. But its wealth division, with 5,400 advisors and about $900 billion in assets under supervision, is smaller than competitors’.

Morgan Stanley manages $1.46 trillion in wealth assets. Rival Bank of America’s Merrill wealth unit oversees $1.3 trillion, and its Life Plan app attracted $55 billion, and more than 10 million users, less than three years after it was introduced.

Creating wealth plans typically leads to investments, JPMorgan said. About 80% of new investors at JPMorgan do so after creating financial plans, said Ranjit Samra, the head of product and experience for JPMorgan Wealth Management.

(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; editing by Lananh Nguyen and Nick Zieminski, Kirsten Donovan)