By Sacha Boyea
Wealth management is an often confusing subject as many people have various opinions on what wealth management is, who it is for and why it is for them. Overall, wealth management is usually reserved for very high-net worth individuals – often multi-millionaires with over £10 million of assets and/or investments to be managed.
The reasons these individuals choose wealth management companies are varying: some may want asset protection, others may be looking for absolute returns on their investments; the differences are vast and so are the challenges faced by these individuals in narrowing down a good wealth management firm to entrust their assets too.
Compiled below is a list of a few of the features that the best Asset and Wealth Management Firms like Lombard Odier offer their clients:
1. Diversification – ‘no two clients are the same’ is the key to this diversification. If you are in the market for a Wealth Management Company, you want to find one that will tailor a bespoke package for yourself, which suits your circumstances and needs. If you go to a Wealth Management Company and all they can offer you is ‘off-the-shelf’ packages then it is best to walk away as they tend to ignore your personal circumstance and focus on selling you whatever product they have that will offer them the biggest percentage of your assets. Diversification is also important because of the current economic climate, the financial ‘safe havens’ of yesteryear are quickly disappearing as there is a lot of volatility in the markets.
2. Track Record – a proven track record is one of the first things you look for, as there are too many of these ‘fly-by-night’ management companies popping up all over the globe, most without a clue of what they are doing – which when you are managing someone else’s fortunes is unacceptable! The firms have helped to add to the bad press that Wealth Management Companies have been getting since the advent of the recession. In this industry having a good ‘track record’ proves that, as a firm, you have been consistently making the right decisions to benefit both your clients and your business. For instance, Lombard Odier is one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious private banks, who offer wealth management facilities. L.O is extremely proud of the fact that they have successfully survived over 40 financial crises and being that they are private, they also maintain a robust balance sheet, which should be very important to prospective clients as it shows that they are literally ‘putting their money where their mouth is’!
3. Knowledge - knowledge is power and, in this situation, it is key to your success. You should only go with firms who can demonstrate that they have the required knowledge to protect and grow your assets throughout this volatile period. A good management company should be able to advise you in areas outside of the usual financial instruments – for instance, if you made your fortune in business (let’s say it was manufacturing) a good management company would be able to offer you advise on how to grow within your industry and they may even help you develop budding relationships with customers and/or suppliers. The point is that a good Wealth Management Company will go above and beyond what is considered to be their field of expertise (financial instruments), in order to keep a client happy – whether the client is looking for and absolute return or just a safeguard to protect their assets so that they can be transferred from generation to generation.