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Building Generational Bridges: The Role of Wealth Managers in Nurturing Legacy and Succession

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the vapa Swiss independent wealth management blog posts featured on this page are solely my own and do not necessarily represent the views of any institutions or organisations I may be associated with. These posts are intended to share personal insights and perspectives and should not be interpreted as official statements or positions of any affiliated entities.

As professionals, we often strive to create a lasting impact on our careers. Throughout my journey, I’ve been fortunate to work with client master data, providing valuable insights into the dynamics between relationship managers and their clients. One of my particularly intriguing analyses involved comparing the average age of relationship managers to that of their clients. As somewhat expected, it became apparent that relationship managers tended to be slightly younger than the clients they served. This observation is held across various sectors, including my private banking and wealth management tenures. While banks emphasise bridging the age gap, wealth managers typically adopt a different approach, characterised by a mindset of retirement equals game over.

Indeed, it’s tempting to focus solely on the active phase of our professional lives and the corresponding generation. In doing so, we might overlook the significance of engaging with and understanding the next generation, which communicates in an entirely different language to create something beyond retirement. However, “left-behind clients” demonstrate great understanding when handed back to a bank relationship manager. After all, even the trusted family doctor also retired around that time. The wealth accumulation ends, and individuals transition to living off the interest generated from their investments. This strategy, of course, is a service that every bank can offer to varying degrees of success, and there are still the beloved “Kassenobligationen”.

Meanwhile, the next generation is carving its path, exploring novel financial solutions beyond the confines of traditional institutions and without a Facebook profile.

I think it’s a missed opportunity to focus as founder exclusively on a single generation, neglecting the potential to build a wealth manager enduring multiple generations. We need only look up to the prestigious banking houses in Geneva, which have achieved world-renowned status through their ability to transcend time. I sincerely hope wealth managers, fuelled by ambition and foresight, will take up the mantle of legacy-building, consistently nurturing and grooming successor generations to serve as relationship managers on the client side. By fostering shared experiences shaped by history and culture, with a material connection bridging the gaps, we can ensure a successful and seamless transition for our clients from one generation to the next. Let’s not allow the endeavours of wealth managers, built with passion and dedication, to fade away simply.

Source: LinkedIn

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Wealth manager discussing legacy and succession planning with a multigenerational family.

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