Wealth advisors: the new and the old

The wealth management business is undoubtedly facing a lot of changes with the new and more complex regulatory requirements and, of course,

The wealth management business is undoubtedly facing a lot of changes with the new and more complex regulatory requirements and, of course, digitalisation and connectivity, writes Valentina Romeo.

That is why the figure of relationship managers (RMs) and wealth advisors is transforming as they now need to cope with sophisticated demands and a fast-changing market always keeping the traditional set of skills as core.

But will this be enough for the next generation of RMs? Is there, as many say, a lack of talents?

A lot has been said about combining the digital tools use and the ‘reassuring’ and often preferred face-to-face client relationship in the private banking world. But for some players, the face-to-face advice is seen as a limited market.

As Chris William, CEO of the newly-launched online-only wealth management platform, Wealth Horizon, told me, wealthy clients would increasingly seek the ‘personal contact’ for a limited amount of ‘more delicate’ issues, such as divorce or retirement. So basically, he says that everything else can be simply, easily and quickly done online. Challenge accepted Chris.

I can understand if a large number of young potential wealthy advisors would think twice before deciding which way to go.

On the other hand, private banks are actively looking for talents to bring a fresh approach to such a demanding job. It is true that, compared with the recent past, RMs need to gain deeper insight on their clients’ needs, suitability, risk profile and behaviours and deliver the superior and ultimate client experience.

The final challenge is, indeed, to identify the key changes especially considering the market advisors will operate in. As things are now in an exploration mode, technology is seen as an enabler, but definitely a prerequisite for firms that want to stay in the game.