How to make your ultra-affluent clients happy

“…the model that works in the institutional world does not necessarily translate well to the world of the ultra affluent,” writes Scott Welch of Fortigent, LLC in “Differentiating When Consulting to the Ultra Affluent,” an article published in the CFA Institute’s private wealth management e-newsletter.

So, while wealth managers like to talk about bringing institutional-quality management to individual clients, forget about your institutional client-service model.

As a professional writer, I was intrigued to read that “…satisfied clients hear from their primary adviser 28 times a year, or a little more than twice a month, and it might be a phone call, an e-mail, a fax, a newsletter, a research report, or just a quick hello.  Unsatisfied clients hear from their primary advisers fewer than 17 times a year (emphasis added).” One extra client touch per month could make an enormous difference!

Welch discusses how to satisfy ultra-affluent clients in terms of platform, process, and people.

Platform means that your product and service offerings must be comprehensive.  Without the full array of wealth management offerings, you won’t “get a seat at the table.” But the key is providing access to those services. Outsourcing is okay.

Process means that a relationship manager with excellent people skills and an outstanding support team arranges client access to products and services. 

People means that roles are becoming more specialized, taking advantage of employees’ personalities and knowledge. Also, ongoing professional education is essential because of increasing specialization.