Brexit poses difficult questions for institutions operating in Europe – and the UK expats they serve – but this is no time for investors to take a “head in the sand” stance.
It can be very helpful when a wealth manager describes their ethos and approach in their own words, explains Wendy Spires, Director of Content and Research.
Thousands of affluent individuals visit findaWEALTHMANAGER.com each month for a fast and free way to find the right wealth manager for their precise profile and needs. While there is still a place for asking around for recommendations, the importance of finding a really good fit is hard to overstate since long-term, productive wealth management relationships are of course the aim.
Our service was launched in 2012 to help investors navigate the highly diverse – and therefore tricky to navigate – UK wealth management market. There are over 200 wealth management institutions available in the UK, ranging from smaller regional firms which have evolved out of private client stockbroking houses through to independent boutiques and up to the wealth management arms of international private banking groups.
As well as there being so many styles of firm available, the mixture of services and products on offer varies hugely too. Some firms have a full-service proposition which includes private banking, investment management and financial planning; others focus purely on running investments. Complicating the picture even further is the fact that institutions are often asking for very different minimum investment levels to access their various services. With so many variables at play it can be difficult even for those working within the industry to know which institution to choose: financial services professionals now account for almost four in ten of the users of findaWEALTHMANAGER.com.
Our objective matching methodology has certainly struck a chord with affluent investors. We have matched over 1,000 high net worth individuals with wealth managers in the UK and we hope to rapidly replicate this success in Singapore, where we recently launched a sister service. But while people do, of course, come to the site to find – and meet – the right wealth manager for their exact requirements, that is not all they use the site for. Although some people decide they have reached the point where they need professional help and want to find a provider right away, for others their need is something that solidifies more slowly over time.
We have a plethora of informative and clear content outlining the key differences between all the different wealth management services and products that are on offer, along with expert guidance on topics like tax-efficient investing and the subtle points of private client law. We also publish investment commentaries and lifestyle content on everything from whisky investing to classic cars. Yet consistently, month after month, our Wealth Manager Directory is up there as one of the most popular areas of the site. Our data shows that users of findaWEALTHMANAGER.com spend much longer viewing these pages than others and tend to have a very good look around this area generally.
From our own research with clients, we would attribute this to the cultural trends that have allowed findaWEALTHMANAGER.com to be such a success in the first place. The democratisation of information that marks today’s knowledge economy means that researching things for ourselves online has become almost a reflex for most people. Yet, as we all know, it is all too easy to fall into a “research hole” and spend hours fruitlessly scouring the internet – particularly if you are not too sure what it is you are looking for or what the institution requires in terms of investment levels on the other side. Furthermore, the fact that some very well-respected wealth managers like to keep a fairly low profile could mean investors are missing out on some possibly very good options completely.
Investors use our Wealth Manager Directory in a variety of ways. Some like to browse the wealth managers listed to get a feel for what is out there before taking our matching questionnaire. Others, meanwhile, like to use the Directory to find out more about the wealth managers they have been matched with. As well as the essential facts, the wealth managers on our panel are now being given increasing scope to set out their store in their own words through features, comments and interviews. Our users tell us that while they haven’t got time to spend hours researching potential wealth managers, they do find it very useful to have a ready-made “dossier” like the one findaWEALTHMANAGER.com provides at hand.
The aim here is for users of findaWEALTHMANAGER.com to be able to get a real feel for institutions available in terms of things like their ethos, investment style and servicing approach. And, if they see a firm in the Wealth Manager Directory that really appeals and that they wish to meet without further ado, they can take truncated version of the questionnaire just to ensure certain essential matching criteria are met before being introduced to the wealth manager straight away.
Like every other element of the findaWEALTHMANAGER.com service, our Wealth Manager Directory is designed to be as useful as possible for busy individuals who don’t necessarily want to take someone else’s word for it, but who at the same time don’t have masses of time to spend researching this highly diverse industry. Through the Directory the wealth managers on our panel set out their approach to constructing portfolios, assessing clients’ attitudes to risk, relationship management and so on – addressing all the key factors that will inform your final choice of institution in a highly accessible way. Whatever stage of the journey you are at, taking a few minutes to look through our Wealth Manager Directory may be time very well spent indeed.
Are you looking for a wealth manager? You can start the process of finding a professional to manage your wealth by trying our smart online tool. Or, if you would like to discuss your situation further with our straight-talking team, please do get in touch here.