Luxury Institute News

October 14, 2014

WEALTHY AMERICANS RANK PREMIUM WINES, DIVULGE SPENDING AND DRINKING HABITS IN NEW LUXURY INSTITUTE SURVEY

Market Wired

NEW YORK, NY — (Marketwired) — 10/14/14 — More than two-thirds (70%) of wealthy U.S. consumers, under the age of 50, drink wine at least once a month, and they’re willing to pay premium prices for preferred vintages — an average of $48 per bottle at retail and $64 at a restaurant. These are among findings of the New York-based Luxury Institute’s just released Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) premium wines survey.

Consumers 21 and older from households with income of at least $150,000 a year evaluated 20 premium domestic wine brands on the degree to which each embodies the four “pillars” of brand value: superior quality, exclusivity, enhanced social status and an overall superior consumption experience. Respondents also reveal which wines are worth paying premium prices, which they would recommend to people close to them, and which brand they will buy next.

Based on overall 1-10 LBSI scores, Ghost Pines (7.65) earns top honors, and it ranks the highest on all four pillars of value. Known for California winemaker Michael Eddy’s multi-appellation blends of grapes from Napa, Sonoma, Monterey and San Joaquin counties, Ghost Pines is also the brand consumers deem most worthy of a price premium, even though many of its bottles sell for less than $20.

Other highly ranked premium domestic brands include Mount Veeder (7.39), Meiomi (7.30), Bridlewood (7.16) and Edna Valley (6.90).

“Winemaking is the quintessential luxury business in many ways,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “Brand value begins with the best-quality raw materials and grows with fine craftsmanship and a relentless focus on execution and consistently delighting customers.”

Contact the Luxury Institute for more details and complete survey data.

Visit us at www.LuxuryInstitute.com and contact us with any questions or for more information.

The Luxury Institute, LLC
luxinfo@luxuryinstitute.com

Source:

http://www.einnews.com/pr_news/229093149/wealthy-americans-rank-premium-wines-divulge-spending-and-drinking-habits-in-new-luxury-institute-survey

October 6, 2014

La Jolla among tops in US for luxury home sales

San Diego Source
Daily Transcript Staff Report
October 6, 2014

San Diego is among the top 10 cities with the highest number of luxury home sales, according to a report by Coldwell Banker, with La Jolla high on the list.

San Diego saw the sale of 927 homes valued at $1 million-plus from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. The Luxury Market Report was prepared by the Coldwell Banker Previews International marketing program.

Topping the list was San Francisco with 2,485 luxury homes sold — up nearly 57 percent from the previous year — followed by Los Angeles with 2,170 and New York with 2,145.

The report included three price points: $1 million, $5 million and $10 million.

Two of San Diego’s ZIP codes saw high sales of luxury homes.

La Jolla’s 92037 ZIP code had closings on 348 homes valued at $1 million or more, the third highest of all ZIP codes in the country at that price tier; 269 homes sold in Carmel Valley and Torrey Pines in the 92130 ZIP code.

Four homes valued over $10 million closed in La Jolla, which ranked 16th, the report said. The most $10 million homes, 58, sold in New York.

The U.S. high-end residential real estate market remains strong, with 48 percent of all wealthy consumers indicating they plan to buy a luxury home within the next 12 months, according to the companion survey of wealthy U.S. consumers with a net worth of at least $5 million, conducted by the Coldwell Banker Previews International program and the Luxury Institute.

Younger buyers are the most motivated to buy; an overwhelming 81 percent of affluent people younger than 35 plan to buy a luxury home in the next year.

Source: http://www.sddt.com/News/article.cfm?SourceCode=20141006cze&_t=La+Jolla+among+tops+in+US+for+luxury+home+sales#.VDQEJSldXDQ

October 3, 2014

Luxury market report reveaks newcomers on list of hottest U.S. citie

New Jersey Hills Media Group
October 3, 2014

Quiet, unassuming areas adjacent to traditional luxury markets have rapidly transformed into hotbeds of luxury real estate in the 12-month period from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Leading the way and making its debut in the top 5 U.S. luxury markets for homes valued at $1 million+ is San Jose, where high-end home sales are up a staggering 76 percent from this time last year, according to the Luxury Market Report prepared by the Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program.

With Silicon Valley luxury real estate on fire, the affluent enclave of Atherton doubled its sales in the $10 million+ range from 2013. Burlingame, located approximately a mile from tony Hillsborough in Northern California emerged in the $10 million+ list for sold homes for the first time, most likely as the result of low inventory in the Bay Area’s most sought-after ZIP codes.

Adjacency is a powerful trend playing out in high-demand luxury cities well beyond Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, notably in Miami. North Miami Beach made its debut among the top 20 cities for $10 million+ homes sold —signaling that luxury buyers are expanding their horizons beyond the typical hotspots of Miami Beach, South Beach and the private communities of Star and Fisher Islands.

Overall, San Francisco led the nation with the highest number of sales in the $1 million+ category—up nearly 57 percent from this time last year.

The U.S. high-end residential real estate market remains strong, with nearly half (48 percent) of all wealthy consumers indicating that they plan to purchase a luxury home within the next 12 months, according to the companion survey of wealthy U.S. consumers with a net worth of at least $5 million (penta-millionaires) conducted by the Coldwell Banker Previews International® program and the Luxury Institute. Younger buyers are by far the most highly motivated to purchase: An overwhelming 81 percent of affluent individuals under 35 plan to buy a luxury home in the next year.

The survey reveals dramatic generational differences:

Penta-millionaires 35 and under reported the highest average purchase price of all age groups – $7.8 million — and have the largest percentage (80 percent) of all age groups paying all-cash.

By stark contrast, wealthy buyers 45-64 paid an average of $2.7 million for their most recent home purchase while buyers 65 and older spent just $1 million.

The report brought to light strong gender gaps:

Seventy percent of women reported paying all-cash for their most recent property vs. 57 percent of men.

Women reported buying more expensive homes than men:

Twenty-two percent of women spent $10 million or more for their most recent property vs. 13 percent of men in the same wealth bracket.

Forty-six percent of women have plans to buy another home in the coming year, up from 31 percent in 2013.

Location, location, location may no longer be the golden rule of real estate:

With the ability to work remotely now a reality for many, only 25 percent of the under-35 age group indicate that location dominates their search criteria.

Instead, 75 percent say that lifestyle considerations are the No. 1 factor driving their choice of which home to buy.

As evidence of this powerful generational shift, 86 percent of buyers 65 and older say that location remains their top priority.

Hottest In-Demand Amenities:

Nearly one-third of all wealthy buyers under the age of 45 count a “green” or “LEED certified” home as more important than it was 3 years ago.

The trend is also catching on among wealthy buyers of all ages, with 21% saying that they want to buy an eco-friendly home, up from a mere 7 percent in 2013.

As homes become increasingly high-tech, 25 percent now consider a fully automated home a priority.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents under age 35 and 30% of those with a net worth exceeding $10 million will prioritize safe rooms in their next homes.

The full list of the Top 20 Best Performing U.S. Cities in Luxury Real Estate by price points of $1 million+, $5 million+ and $10 million+, and the high-net-worth consumer survey results can be viewed here www.previewslmr.com.

Source: http://newjerseyhills.com/luxury-market-report-reveaks-newcomers-on-list-of-hottest-u/article_44f41eb2-e012-5472-a2fc-1047ab4a0690.html

October 1, 2014

Exclusive: Wealthy Consumer Survey 2014

Previews Inside Out
Coldwell Banker
October 1, 2014

You may picture wealthy Gen Y and Millenials as iPad-toting jetsetters who aren’t anxious to tie up their cash in a home. But they are among the most active players in luxury real estate, according to a new survey of ultra-wealthy consumers by Coldwell Banker Previews International® and the Luxury Institute.

“Young affluents recognize the value of real estate,” said Ginette Wright, vice president of marketing for Previews®/ NRT.  “And they are often bullish when it comes to real estate—they own more properties and tend to spend more on average. Their outlook on long-term appreciation is also more positive.”

inforGraphic_final_BLOG

The survey found that 73% of wealthy consumers under the age of 35—the most out of any age group—are considering a purchase of additional residential real estate in the next 12 months for personal use. These buyers also expect their home to appreciate by an average of 16% in the next five years, compared to 13% for buyers ages 45-64 and 11% for buyers 65 and older. Additionally, they are among the biggest spenders, as they paid $7.8 million on average for their last home, compared to $6.8 million for buyers between 35 and 44 years of age, $2.7 million for those between 45 and 64, and $1 million for buyers 65 and older. One reason for the price difference could be due to the kinds of homes they desire. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of respondents younger than 35 said that buying a move-in-ready home is important.

“Our agents in cities like Los Angeles and Miami tell us the same thing: new construction is king right now,” added Wright. “Younger luxury buyers are not looking for a project—they want everything turn-key, right down to the décor and furnishings. All of which, of course, adds to the home’s overall price tag.”

While location and price remain the most important elements in the decision making process for the majority of ultra-wealthy buyers, younger affluents are less inclined to choose a property based on geography. Thanks to convenient travel options and the ability to work from anywhere becoming more widespread, just 25% of the under-35 group reports that location dominates their search criteria, but 75% say that lifestyle considerations drive their choice of which home to buy. At the other extreme, 88% of buyers 65 and older say that location is the most potent driver of their next property search.

Younger affluents are also interested in different home amenities than their seasoned counterparts. Safe rooms (37%), home theaters (36%), pool (34%), outdoor kitchens (33%) and “green” or “eco-friendly” amenities (29%) remain at the top of the wish list for buyers under the age of 35. Compared to the 65+ demographic, those same features ranked far lower: 7% wanted safe rooms, 12% wanted home theaters, 16% wanted a pool, 17% wanted a pool and 10% wanted a “green” home.

To find more interesting comparisons between the age groups, download the complete Wealthy Consumer Survey: http://www.previewsinsideout.com/2014/10/exclusive-wealthy-consumer-survey-2014/

Coldwell Banker Previews International Luxury Market Report Reveals Newcomers On List Of Hottest U.S. Cities For Luxury Home Sales

PR Newswire
October 1, 2014
High Net-Worth Consumer Survey Reveals Dramatic Gender Gaps
MADISON, N.J.Oct. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Quiet, unassuming areas adjacent to traditional luxury markets have rapidly transformed into hotbeds of luxury real estate in the 12-month period from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.  Leading the way and making its debut in the top 5 U.S. luxury markets for homes valued at $1 million+ is San Jose, where high-end home sales are up a staggering 76% from this time last year, according to the Luxury Market Report prepared by the Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program. With Silicon Valley luxury real estate on fire, the affluent enclave of Atherton doubled its sales in the $10 million+ range from 2013. Burlingame, located approximately a mile from Hillsborough in Northern California emerged in the $10 million+ list for sold homes for the first time, most likely as the result of low inventory in the Bay Area’s most sought-after ZIP codes. Adjacency is a powerful trend playing out in high-demand luxury cities well beyond Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, notably in Miami.North Miami Beach made its debut among the top 20 cities for $10 million+ homes sold —signaling that luxury buyers are expanding their horizons beyond the typical hotspots of Miami Beach, South Beach and the private communities of Star and Fisher Islands. Overall, San Francisco led the nation with the highest number of sales in the $1 million+ category—up nearly 57% from this time last year. During the last 12 months through June 2014, the top five U.S. cities with the highest number of luxury home sales valued at $1 million+ are:

Coldwell Banker Previews International Luxury Market Report

Ranking

City

State

Number of Home Sales Valued at $1 million+

1

San Francisco

Calif.

2,485

2

Los Angeles

Calif.

2,170

3

New York

N.Y.

2,145

4

San Jose

Calif.

1,119

5

Houston

Texas

981

6

Chicago

Ill.

972

7

Naples

Fla.

964

8

Miami

Fla.

933

9

San Diego

Calif.

927

10

Washington

DC

878

The number of sales for four out of five of these top cities is up by at least 36%. Extending the range up to the $10 million+ category, Miami Beach and Aspen have another strong showing against long standing luxury real estate epicenters New York and Beverly Hills.

Coldwell Banker Previews International Luxury Market Report

Ranking

City

State

Number of Home Sales Valued at $10 million+

1

New York

N.Y.

58

2

Beverly Hills

Calif.

28

3

Los Angeles

Calif.

25

4

Miami Beach

Fla.

17

5

Aspen

Colo.

16

6 (tie)

Greenwich

Conn.

14

6 (tie)

Atherton

Calif.

14

7

Santa Barbara

Calif.

10

8

Malibu

Calif.

8

9

Palm Beach

Fla.

7

10 (tie)

Laguna Beach

Calif.

6

10 (tie)

Kailua Kona

Hawaii

6

10 (tie)

Naples

Fla.

6

10 (tie)

San Francisco

Calif.

6

HIGH-NET-WORTH CONSUMER SURVEY The U.S. high-end residential real estate market remains strong, with nearly half (48%) of all wealthy consumers indicating that they plan to purchase a luxury home within the next 12 months, according to the companion survey of wealthy U.S. consumers with a net worth of at least $5 million (penta-millionaires) conducted by the Coldwell Banker Previews International® program and the Luxury Institute.  Younger buyers are by far the most highly motivated to purchase:  An overwhelming 81% of affluent individuals under 35 plan to buy a luxury home in the next year. The survey reveals dramatic generational differences:

  • Penta-millionaires 35 and under reported the highest average purchase price of all age groups - $7.8 million – and have the largest percentage (80%) of all age groups paying all-cash.
  • By stark contrast, wealthy buyers 45-64 paid an average of $2.7 million for their most recent home purchase while buyers 65 and older spent just $1 million.

The report brought to light strong gender gaps:

  • 70% of women reported paying all-cash for their most recent property vs. 57% of men.
  • Women reported buying more expensive homes than men:
    • 22% of women spent $10 million or more for their most recent property vs. 13% of men in the same wealth bracket.
  • 46% of women have plans to buy another home in the coming year, up from 31% in 2013.

Location, location, location may no longer be the golden rule of real estate:

  • With the ability to work remotely now a reality for many, only 25% of the under-35 age group indicate that location dominates their search criteria.
  • Instead, 75% say that lifestyle considerations are the No. 1 factor driving their choice of which home to buy.
  • As evidence of this powerful generational shift, 86% of buyers 65 and older say that location remains their top priority.  

Hottest In-Demand Amenities:

  • Nearly one-third of all wealthy buyers under the age of 45 count a “green” or “LEED certified” home as more important than it was 3 years ago.
  • The trend is also catching on among wealthy buyers of all ages, with 21% saying that they want to buy an eco-friendly home, up from a mere 7% in 2013.
  • As homes become increasingly high-tech, 25% now consider a fully automated home a priority.
  • 37% of respondents under age 35 and 30% of those with a net worth exceeding $10 million will prioritize safe rooms in their next homes.

The full list of the Top 20 Best Performing U.S. Cities in Luxury Real Estate by price points of $1 million+, $5 million+ and $10 million+, and the high-net-worth consumer survey results can be viewed here www.previewslmr.com. About Coldwell Banker Previews International® The Coldwell Banker Previews International program has been a world leader in the marketing of luxury homes since 1933. The Previews® program was acquired by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC in 1980 and re-launched as Coldwell Banker Previews International, the brand’s luxury homes program.  The exclusive group of certified Previews Property Specialists make up approximately 8.5 percent of the Coldwell Banker sales associates worldwide.  Coldwell Banker Previews International participated in more than 20,000 transaction sides of homes priced at $1 million or more in 2013. On average, Previews handles $102.7 million in luxury homes sales every day. Coldwell Banker, Previews and Coldwell Banker Previews International are registered marks licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated. Sales associates affiliated with Coldwell Banker offices are independent contractors. About Coldwell Banker® Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate. Coldwell Banker is the oldest national real estate brand in the United States and today has a network of approximately 84,200 independent sales associates affiliated with more than 3,100 offices in 48 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker brand is known for creating innovative consumer services as recently seen by being the first national real estate brand with an iPad app, the first to augment its website www.coldwellbanker.com for smart phones, the first to create a iPhone application with international listings and the first to fully harness the power of video in real estate listings, news and information through its Coldwell Banker On LocationSMYouTube channel.  The Coldwell Banker System is a leader in niche markets such as resort, new homes and luxury properties through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program.  Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.  Each office is independently owned and operated. Coldwell Banker is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. Methodology Manhattan area active listing data has been gathered from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). Not all Manhattan area real estate brokerage firms make Information about their property listings available to any cooperative resource, including REBNY.  Manhattan area sales data has been gathered from REBNY and from StreetEasy.com, an online consumer and private industry portal that reports closed real estate transactions from REBNY as well as other reporting brokerage resources. Not all Manhattan area real estate brokerage firms report their closed sales to any cooperative resource, including StreetEasy.com and / or REBNY. All other data has been gathered from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) databases known or believed to be the primary real estate broker cooperative resources for each market referenced in the report. All closed sales activity reported is for the annual period July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Closed sales reported to the MLS significantly later than this analysis period will not be included. All active status listing records were downloaded and processed to the same standards, and on various dates, during the months of July and August, 2014. Property specific listing and sales records were standardized to USPS address city and ZIP Code, inaccurate list and sale prices were corrected when necessary, and all duplicate records were manually excluded. As a result, statistics available via the source data providers may not correlate to this analysis. While all results are believed to be highly accurate, MLS systems do not report all real estate activity in their primary marketplace, and there may have been property transfers not included in this analysis. Copyright © 2014, Real Data Strategies, Inc. All rights reserved. Licensed for the exclusive use of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Luxury Institute, in partnership with the Coldwell Banker Previews International® program, conducted research on the topic of real estate during Quarter 2, 2014. This in-depth survey includes responses from 506 ultra-wealthy male and female consumers in the United States. Respondents were recruited and screened to only include those age 21 or older with a minimum gross annual household income of $200,000 and a minimum net worth of $5 million.

SOURCE Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

Media Inquiries:

Athena Snow

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

973.407.5590

Athena.Snow@coldwellbanker.com

Holly Taylor

Rogers and Cowan for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

310.854.8115

hetaylor@rogersandcowan.com

SOURCE Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC RELATED LINKS http://www.coldwellbanker.com http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/coldwell-banker-previews-international-luxury-market-report-reveals-newcomers-on-list-of-hottest-us-cities-for-luxury-home-sales-277723761.html

September 25, 2014

Social network aims for country club status

StarTribune
September 25, 2014
By Katie Humphrey

It could be a story from “The Onion”: Join an online country club for the elite, memberships starting at $9,000.

Except it’s true. Last week, a Minneapolis man launched Netropolitan.Club, a social network for the rich and exclusive. Forget the commoners on Twitter and Facebook. Netropolitan founder James Touchi-Peters bills his site as “a place to talk about fine wine, fancy cars and lucrative business decisions without judgment.”

Its Sept. 16 launch got so much buzz — mostly of the snarky variety — that Jimmy Fallon mentioned it on “The Tonight Show,” imagining posts about firing the gardener and the caviar bucket challenge.

The site’s landing page got so many hits it was slow to load. Then the hackers descended. On Sunday evening, Touchi-Peters, who used to conduct the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, pulled the site down for security upgrades.

“We were aware that people would try to hack the Netropolitan Club, but we were not prepared for the overwhelming amount of attacks,” he said in a statement posted on the Netropolitan Club’s Facebook page. (Because, apparently, even elite social networks need Facebook.)
He said it would be back up by the end of the week.

But will it catch on? We may never know. Touchi-Peters won’t say how many members have joined the site, or give any hint of their backgrounds. He also won’t give anyone a peek at the advertising-free network — unless they pony up the whopping membership payment.

“The attraction is that it’s private,” he said. “So far it’s exceeded our wildest expectations.”
Still, it could be a tough sell.

Privacy is valuable to the wealthy, but so is value, said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, a New York City research firm specializing in data and insights of high-net-worth consumers.

“I’m a bit of a skeptic,” Pedraza said of Netropolitan. “What are the benefits?”

Previous attempts to create elite-only networks have mostly fizzled, Pedraza said. One that is still active, ASmallWorld, is focused on jet-setting young adults, offering travel perks and hosting parties around the world. Membership, by invitation only, is $105 a year.

Touchi-Peters, a musician who travels frequently, said Netropolitan is aimed at like-minded people who may not have time to socialize in person, a group he calls the “working wealthy.” Or, he said, it could also appeal to rich people who live in rural areas and don’t have access to traditional social clubs. Users create profiles and can post on message boards organized by interest.

“Most people are going to join to meet other people,” Touchi-Peters said.

More specifically, people who can afford $9,000 upfront and the subsequent $3,000 annual fee.
So much for the idea of an open, egalitarian Internet.

That was a myth, anyway, said Seth Lewis, assistant professor of digital media and journalism at the University of Minnesota. Even Facebook started as the digital playground of Ivy League college students.

“It’s almost like [Netropolitan is] trying to put the genie back in the bottle,” Lewis said, referring to the site’s exclusivity. “The proposition is interesting. It’s hard to see how it succeeds.”As for the name Netropolitan, Touchi-Peters said, it’s a play on the words “metropolitan” and “Internet.” He wanted something that spoke to a cosmopolitan crowd, but the title “Cosmopolitan” was already taken.

“Netropolitan does not stand for ‘net worth,’ ” Touchi-Peters said.

But you’d better be worth a lot if you’re going to get past the virtual gate.

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/blogs/277098901.html

September 23, 2014

Luxury Institute Survey Of High-Income Travelers from Europe, China and Japan Reveals Brand Status Ranking Of World’s Top Luxury Hotels

NEW YORK) September 23, 2014 – The New York-based Luxury Institute has released findings of its 2014 Luxury Hotels Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey of affluent overseas travelers who shared detailed impressions and evaluations of 37 global luxury hotel brands.

LBSI scores (1-10) are based on each brand’s perceived quality, exclusivity, social status and overall guest experience. In addition, affluent consumers weigh in on whether a hotel deserves premium pricing, if they would recommend it to people close to them and how likely they are to stay at a brand’s property on their next trip.

Here are the top five brands as rated by wealthy consumers from each region, with Europe including the U.K., Germany, France and Italy.

Europe:Small Luxury Hotels of the World (7.96), The Ritz-Carlton (7.95),Armani Hotels (7.88), Mandarin Oriental (7.86), Leading Hotels of the World (7.77)

China: Leading Hotels of the World (8.62), Oberoi (8.57), The Luxury Collection (8.54), Firmdale Hotels (8.53), Raffles Hotels and Resorts (8.50)

Japan:Aman Resorts (8.19), Oberoi (7.83), Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts (7.80), The Ritz-Carlton (7.73), Orient-Express Hotels (7.68)

“The luxury hotel industry is growing in potential, but also in the dramatic number of brands that have top tier offerings,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “The winners are those who can consistently provide remarkable guest experiences, as rated by the clients.”

Respondents reviewed the following hotel brands: Aman Resorts, Armani Hotels, Banyan Tree, Club Med, Como Hotels and Resorts, Conrad Hotels and Resorts, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Firmdale Hotels, Four Seasons, Grand Hyatt, InterContinental, Jumeirah, JW Marriott, Kempinski Hotels, Le Meridien, Langham, Leading Hotels of the World, Loews Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Mandarin Oriental, Oberoi, Orient-Express Hotels, Pan Pacific, Park Hyatt, The Peninsula Hotels, Raffles Hotels and Resorts, Regent, The Ritz-Carlton, The Rocco Forte Collection, Rosewood, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Sofitel, St. Regis, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, W Hotels and Resorts, and Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts.

Contact the Luxury Institute for more details and complete rankings.

Visit us at www.LuxuryInstitute.com and contact us with any questions or for more information.

September 17, 2014

Can Apple Watch Win Over Swiss Luxury Giants?

By Sarah Mahoney
Marketing Daily
September 17, 2014

Talk about the clash of the titaniums: For centuries, nothing has said “Master of the Universe” as elegantly as a five- (or maybe even six-) figure watch. Yet for status-seekers who pride themselves on being early adopters, sporting the neighborhood’s first Apple Watch will be a big deal. (Especially since the tech insiders over at CNET are speculating that while Apple’s entry-level watch will be priced at $349, gold ones might sell for as much as $5,000.)

While Tag Heuer has said it’s working on its own smartwatch (and has already developed a smartphone), most luxury watch brands seem confident that the old-world chic of the Swiss will outlast any Silicon Valley buzz. And why shouldn’t they be? Sales of luxury timepieces are strong, and online interest for luxury watches is up 7% in the second quarter of this year, compared to the same period a year ago, according to the World Watch Report. In the U.S., that growth is relatively faint. But in the developing world, curiosity is rising fast: Online interest in these watches soared 23% in China, 22% in India, and 20% in Saudi Arabia. (Rolex is by far the most search-for brand, it says, followed by Omega, Cartier, Tag Heuer and Patek Phillippe.)

“The Apple Watch is a product that is not useful if you don’t own an iPhone,” says David Sadigh, CEO of the Geneva-based Digital Luxury Group, which publishes the report. “It’s a product that has been launched to bolster iPhones sales and put a first foot in the door into the smartwatch market. It won’t have a dramatic impact on the Swiss watch market at this stage, as the majority of the market is composed of brands at a luxury level,” he tells Marketing Daily in an email.

For now, watch brands seem to agree, and are ignoring the onslaught that so many techies are predicting. Piaget, for example, is unveiling a new “Perfection in Life” global advertising campaign, which positions its sexy timepieces in some of the planet’s prettiest places, including Geneva, Paris, “La Côte d’Azur,” and Los Angeles, and could have been taken straight out of a1960s jet-set travelogue. Shot by photographer Maud Rémy-Lonvis, they make each piece a hero: The world thinnest automatic watch, the Piaget Altiplano, for example, towers above the Manhattan skyline, while the Piaget Limelight Gala, with white gold set with diamonds, sparkles over the Hollywood Hills.

And just to prove it’s not completely unaware of the digital age, the company describes the effort as a “360° brand concept,” supported by social media. Consumers can post pictures of their own favorite cities to Instagram, hashtagged #Piaget and #PerfectionInLife, the submitted photos will be entered into a contest. A special Piaget jury will select 5 winning photos from the 50 that receive the most likes, and says they will be displayed in Piaget boutiques worldwide.

What the designers of smartwatches and wearables are missing, says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, “is that smartwatches like the Apple Watch are accessories. They’re functional, but they’re not emotional. Luxury watch buyers see their timepieces as art, an adornment, made with true artisanship. So they’re missing half the equation. Smartwatches don’t have the personality that luxury watches do.”

And while there will doubtless be luxury consumers who already own classic timepieces and who buy smartwatches too, “there’s only so much real estate on the wrist.” That means there a tremendous opportunity for tech companies to partner with luxury watch marketers, “to move beyond the generic, dramatically improve the aesthetic, and increase the appeal.”

For now, though, says Sadigh, “folks at Vacheron Constantin, Rolex and Patek Philippe can still sleep well at night.”

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/234357/can-apple-watch-win-over-swiss-luxury-giants.html

August 27, 2014

In the Loop, At the Half With Betty Liu

Betty Liu
Bloomberg Radio
August 27, 2014

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-27/in-the-loop-at-the-half-with-betty-liu-aug-27-2014-audio-.html

Milton Pedraza’s segment is featured at: 9:35-15:11

July 23, 2014

UBS, Merrill Sink in Luxury Ranking as Rockefeller Reaches Top

By Danielle Verbrigghe
FundFire
July 23, 2014

Boutique wealth shops carry a much higher brand cachet than bigger firms among multimillionaires, according to a recent survey by the Luxury Institute. While Rockefeller Wealth Management rose to the top of the list, several of the biggest firms, including Merrill Lynch and UBS Private Wealth Management, continued an ongoing descent toward the bottom.

In the study, the Luxury Institute asked multimillionaires with an average net worth of $15 million and average annual income of $800,000 to evaluate wealth firms on factors including product quality, exclusivity, social status and ability to deliver special client experiences, and assigned firms a score based on the responses.

Rockefeller Wealth Management, a New York-based multi-family office, topped the list of highly ranked wealth managers. Coming second was Atlanta-based Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management. Convergent Wealth Advisors was a close third, followed by First Republic Private Wealth Management and Bessemer Trust.

“Consumers are opting for boutique firms,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “Wealthy consumers really value relationships and the smaller boutique firms really deliver.”

Some of the biggest firms meandered at the bottom or sunk lower. Merrill Lynch tumbled to last place out of 39 firms, while UBS Private Wealth Management came in second to last. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Charles Schwab rounded out the bottom five.

The brand reputation problem facing some of the largest firms is partially driven by legal and regulatory woes and other negative press coverage some of the brands attracted since 2008, Pedraza says. “Any time you have news that’s a negative in the media, these firms are going to get hit,” he says. “The larger firms took a beating.”

Other big brands, including, Citi Private Bank, Barclays Wealth, HSBC Private Bank and Wells Fargo also ranked in the bottom half of brands.

The rankings reflect general wealthy individual perceptions of overall brands, rather than specific client experiences, Pedraza ways. While the specific rankings tend to vary from year to year, quartile placement remains relatively stable, he says. This year’s results continue an ongoing trend of boutique wealth shops rising in the rankings and wirehouses and bigger firms sliding lower, he says.

While dropping slightly from its number three spot in 2013, Bessemer Trust made the top five list several years in a row. Brown Brothers Harriman, which took the top spot last year and in 2012, tumbled off the top five list. Northern Trust, Vanguard Personal Investors and J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management also fell out of the top five.

Brown Brothers Harriman’s absence on the list doesn’t indicate an image problem, Pedraza says. “I don’t think it’s so much that they’re faltering as consumers perceive other brands to be better,” he says.

Boutique shops have an advantage over larger firms when it comes to creating a connection with wealthy investors, says Linda Beerman, chief fiduciary officer and head of wealth strategies for Atlantic Trust.

“Our clients feel they have an exclusive relationship with their client service representatives,” says Beerman. “It’s really a high-touch, client-service driven model.”

Offering unique experiences and hosting events is one way Convergent Wealth Advisors positions itself as a luxury brand, says Douglas Wolford, president and chief operating officer for Convergent Wealth Advisors.

“Wealthy people can find any number of people who are good investors, but what most wealthy people want is an experience,” Wolford says. “Boutiques provide that experience better than big companies.”

To differentiate themselves from other firms offering advice to ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth investors and families, Convergent offers special events for wealthy clients. For example, the firm is hosting an event in which wealthy clients can have lunch with David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group. Convergent has also held events for clients where wealthy investors get to drive new models of luxury vehicles, such as Ferraris or Bentleys, before they become available to the general public.

“We focus on trying to provide clients with experiences that money can’t buy,” says Wolford

Such experiences go a long way in attracting wealthy clients and enhancing the firm’s reputation as a luxury brand, Wolford says. “Convergent is a luxury brand and we take care to protect that as part of our image,” he says.

And that image has contributed to client development, according to Wolford.

Convergent Wealth Advisors has seen its Independence by Convergent unit, which caters to investors with between $1 million and $10 million in assets, grow in recent years, driven in part by brand perception, Wolford says. That division has added about 300 new high-net-worth clients over the past two years.

“The brand has really driven that growth. People want to be associated with a luxury, boutique brand,” says Wolford. “I think Convergent is an aspirational brand for people in Indepencence.”

Overall, wealthy individuals are apt to place a greater degree of trust in smaller, boutique firms, says Pedraza.

For brands at the bottom, “There’s only up they can go,” Pedraza says.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes quotes from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://fundfire.com/c/934734/9128/merrill_sink_luxury_ranking_rockefeller_reaches?referrer_module=emailForwarded&module_order=0

 

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