Reliable information about wealth is crucial!

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Keytrade Bank

What does Belgians’ wealth look like? What are Belgians’ investment preferences? And what are the trends or changes? Keytrade Bank discovered that there is hardly any in-depth research on this topic. So our bank set up a chair with UGent researcher Koen Inghelbrecht to fill that gap.

“At Keytrade Bank, we offer different products to manage and grow wealth. We are also the bank where well-informed customers make their own decisions about their finances. This is exactly why we strongly believe that as much information as possible should be made available to our customers about the makeup of Belgians’ wealth. Or, for that matter, to anyone who manages their own finances,” said Thierry Ternier, CEO of Keytrade Bank. “And for us? Well, we also want to get to know our customers better so we can provide them with better-targeted support.”

Thierry therefore asked his alma mater UGent to set up an in-depth study on Belgians’ wealth accumulation and financial behaviour. He soon found his way to Professor Koen Inghelbrecht (Department of Economics).

“The bank’s question aligns well with my own research on investor behaviour,” said Koen. “How do people accrue their estate? And what drives them in the process? The knowledge gap is still much too large. Particularly, we know little about non-financial assets, such as property, cars or art collections.”

He didn’t think twice about the bank’s request, and the UGent-Keytrade Bank chair soon became a reality. “We want to get an initial idea of Belgians’ wealth. For this first publication, we have taken a snapshot of the current assets of the typical Belgian individual. In the longer term, we will then see how their estate changes over time.”

For this first publication, we take a snapshot of the Belgian’s current wealth.

A steering committee comprising people from the bank and the university established objectives and outcomes. The steering committee had no influence on the academic study itself. “Obviously, we don’t send them the results. We strongly believe that the study must be neutral, independent and trustworthy,” emphasised Thierry. “Only then can the results be useful and inspire someone managing their finances.”

One can deem the chair a real win-win. “Actually, it’s even a win-win-win collaboration,” concluded Thierry. “Because the chair allows us to help all Belgians by giving them a better understanding of their assets. And, of course, our customers: we want to create better and more targeted tools to manage their assets. The fact that this helps us actively engage with society also aligns well with our vision as a bank.”

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