PricewaterhouseCoopers has issued a Supplement to its 2007 **Private Banking/Wealth Management Survey** that looks in detail at the “people issues” facing wealth managers.

Entitled, **“Developing a Talent Legacy”**, the survey shows that a shortage of top-class client relationship managers (CRMs) in the world’s wealth management industry threatens to undermine its efforts to keep up with demand. According to the survey, the job of attracting talented skilled CRMs is the biggest challenge for the sector.

The survey was carried out last year among 265 organisations in 43 countries. The report issued by PwC shows that 257 respondents answered that “attracting appropriately skilled people” was the greatest challenge to the industry while 199 respondents said keeping skilled staff was the most serious issue.

The demand for CRMs is expected to surge by an average pace of 32 per cent globally over the next two years. The Asia-Pacific region is the hottest area, where CRM demand is expected to show a 57 per cent growth rate. Growth in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region is expected to rise by 25 per cent and by 17 per cent in the US, the report said.

Survey responses show that the private wealth management sector is continuing to expand, contrasting with other parts of the financial services industry that are being hit by the global credit turmoil.