Why Wealth Managers Should Be Proud

The wealth management industry is sometimes – perhaps rightly – reluctant to make its case to a wider audience. This news organization has no such inhibitions. Here are the thoughts of the News Service Editor as they were featured during this year’s annual European Awards programme.

On March 30, this information service organized the tenth edition of the WealthBriefing European Awards, with a gala evening in central London (all the details here). I thought it might be useful to give an edited version of my keynote at this event outlining how I think the wealth industry has evolved, where it is now and adding some thoughts for the future.

I would like to share with all of you how proud I am to have been the editor of this news service, to have supported this program and to publicize the important role that Clearview has played in promoting the world and benefits of sound wealth management.

It would be trite to point out that we are witnessing a long period of change, upheaval and upheaval. Is the wealth management industry well positioned to be a true counterbalance to the new dystopia in the lives of the clients it serves? My answer to that question is a resounding yes – and here’s why.

When I joined Reuters in 2000, I found myself writing more and more about wealth management. It was all a bit
niche. Did I annoy my supervisor? The cold hands of
Reuters had gone to war zones or covered politics. Yours truly was beginning to understand… credit default swaps, post-career salary pensions and what the heck the US Federal Reserve and other central banks were up to.

But I should have realized that was where it was. Things started to change, even before the financial car crash of 2008 hit and every taxi driver and pub was an expert on subprime mortgages. I realized that wealth management – ​​understood in its broadest sense – covered so many aspects of the human experience that were interesting and important. Covering this beat gave me a front row seat to one of the most interesting games in town – and one that never ceased to amaze and engage even a cynical reporter like me.

Ever since I started covering it, wealth management has become a topic within finance. It’s no longer the semi-retirement option for investment bankers moving away from a life in the fast lane. He is now in the foreground.

The industry has become more self-aware and confident, better organized, better served by dedicated organizations, media, conferences and, of course, awards programs like this.

For us, this is largely competition, but welcome as it is an indicator of a vibrant and dynamic industry that Clearview is very proud to be a part of.

I have also seen an increasing diversity of structures – single-family offices, multi-family offices, robo-advisors, various platforms, external wealth managers, etc. And add to the mix more interest from major global banks using economies of scale and globalization.

The industry is embracing technology – perhaps just in time – especially the digitization of customer experience. AI and blockchain are terms we are all familiar with at least fleetingly, and for many they are an integral part of their workday.

For wealth managers to stand out, the adoption of these technologies will be crucial, this is my impression as a journalist. But what won’t change is the human touch. Recent painful experiences surely prove this. The relationship between manager and client is not something that can be replicated. From my point of view, technology increases people’s abilities, it doesn’t take them away.

And I’m also thrilled to see that the push towards more inclusion and greater diversity within companies is much more than a checkbox activity in the majority of companies I meet. It would be so easy for us as a group to fall down a virtual rabbit hole. I can see this a bit in some of the press materials that have been sent to me, but overall the industry seems to really want to make things better. He wants to improve workplaces and help clients make more ethical and sustainable investment choices.

And maybe that leads me to say that one point that I want you to internalize is to be proud of what you do for a living. That’s right – proud.

By protecting and increasing the wealth of wealth creators, they are more likely to continue creating [wealth], and that means jobs, products and services. In times like these, the focus is on rebuilding – in every sense of the word – and that requires capital. Many. And a lot of that capital comes from your customers.

And you should also be proud of how the industry also strives to guide people to pass on their heritage responsibly and wisely. I fear that sometimes our sector, for understandable reasons, does not put itself forward enough in public debate. I want to keep changing that and moving the conversations forward.

Thank you, Wealth Managers, for all you do.

Dolores W. Simon