Managing wealth is often conceptualised as a journey, in recognition of the fact that individuals’ financial situations – and therefore needs – can evolve significantly over time. A person who previously thought that professional wealth management “wasn’t for them” can suddenly find they quite urgently need advice: a DIY investor might become uncomfortable managing a very significant sum; an inheritor may be at a loss as to how to optimise their windfall; or a successful businessperson might find themselves facing an uncertain sale process or punitive tax bills. There are just a few scenarios which drive wealthy individuals to seek professional help.
While they may not feel like wealth management issues in themselves – but rather family or business ones – often the help a wealth manager can provide will go a very long way to answering life’s tricky questions
The range of needs which call for expert wealth management services and advice is huge, however. And, while they may not feel like wealth management issues in themselves – but rather family or business ones – often the help a wealth manager can provide will go a very long way to answering life’s tricky questions. In fact, what you may think of as a complex issue may be very much business as usual to a wealth manager.
Here is a short A-Z guide to just some of the complex needs wealth managers can help you with:
DIY investing means that virtually anyone can invest into traditional asset classes like stocks and bonds, yet there is a whole universe of investments that the wealthy can explore to ensure their portfolios are optimally diversified and their returns maximised. Access to alternatives like hedge funds and private equity is often only possible through a wealth manager, however, as is the kind of holistic advice needed to ensure such investments are made wisely.
Many of our users are highly successful entrepreneurs who are unsure how to best handle the sale of a business and then to manage the proceeds optimally. Others need a plan to ensure the ongoing success of a business after they have retired (or passed away). Wealth managers generally have vast experience in all these areas and can help with all the financial and structuring issues sales and succession can throw up.
Marriage is as much a financial contract as it is a legal and romantic one, and there is much that wealth managers can do pre (and post) your nuptials to ensure that partners emerge as unscathed as possible in an age of ever-rising divorce rates. Splitting assets on divorce can be incredibly difficult to get right, particularly around pensions, so professional advice is essential. Some wealth managers even offer credit lines to help those waiting for divorce settlements to be finalised.
Many investors wish to see their ethical priorities reflected in their investment portfolios so that they can ensure their money is helping to solve global problems – rather than adding to them – while still generating robust returns. Ethical screening can be incredibly complex, however, and so many wealth managers have developed specific expertise and products to help meet these needs.
Securing lasting financial security for the whole family down the generations is many individual’s motivation for maximising their wealth in the first place, but achieving this can be complex. Happily, there are myriad techniques and structures that can protect and grow family wealth, and ensure that it can be passed on with as little lost to taxation as possible. Wealth managers are well used to looking at wealth on a family view and helping to manage family dynamics so that relationships as well as finances remain healthy.
We live in a globalised world and many people have truly international financial affairs which can generate great complexities in terms of financial planning, investment management, administration and taxation. Wealth managers have great expertise in managing the affairs of people who may be “resident non-domiciled” or who have special tax reporting requirements like US citizens. They can also help efficiently repatriate assets held abroad if, for example, you have been working and saving in another country.
It is often the case that wealthy individuals have a substantial investment portfolio and would like to raise capital without necessarily selling their holdings – particularly if this would create a large tax charge. Private banks and wealth managers are often happy to lend against investment portfolios so that clients can access the liquidity they need while still allowing for their investments to gain in value.
Pension freedoms and the multifaceted professional lives people lead now mean that retirement planning is far more complex than it once was. Many people have several pensions to consolidate so that they can be optimally managed and successive reductions in lifetime contribution allowances mean that many are dangerously close to significant tax charges. Retirement planning and pensions for high net worth individuals are absolutely core business for wealth managers.
Mainstream mortgage lenders are often unfortunately rigid in their lending criteria, meaning that those with uneven income streams or illiquid wealth can be penalised if “on paper” their ability to pay a large mortgage appears to be less than it is in reality. Private banks and wealth managers are able to assess their clients’ situations on a more individualised basis and are often able to offer far more favourable terms than regular providers can.
Minimising your tax liabilities is one of the three pillars of wealth management and wealthy individuals should ensure they investigate the range of tax-efficient investments that could be brought to bear here. Venture Capital Trusts and Enterprise Investment Schemes are just two of the well-established and completely legitimate ways that the affluent can minimise their exposures to Income, Capital Gains and Inheritance taxes. This is a complex area where professional advice is a must, however.
Trusts are a time-honoured way to protect assets from misuse or loss and to shelter them from tax. It may be that you have family assets that you would like to protect against the risk of them being lost through divorce, or you may need to ensure that money to be bequeathed to the younger generations is well used. Trusts can be established to fulfil a whole range of purposes and wealth managers are well versed in optimising their formation and management. They will also be able to bring in appropriate legal experts to make a trust structure precisely fit your needs.
These are just a selection of the complex financial needs that wealth managers help their clients with on a day-to-day basis, so however complicated or confusing your particular situation might be the institutions on our panel are sure to be able to help. They will also be able to leverage their networks of professional associates to bring in other experts like lawyers and accountants where required, although many of the larger institutions will have this expertise in-house.
If you believe you have complex wealth management needs and require specific expertise, please get in touch with our expert team to discuss – in complete confidence – which kinds of wealth manager may be right for you.