Financial advisors have long sought to do business with high and ultra-high-net-worth clients. These clients, by definition, have large investment portfolios and often require complex financial planning solutions. This planning including trusts legacy planning and other needs. These clients can generate sizable fees for your firm in exchange for the advice and expertise that you provide.
The opportunity to serve these types of clients still exists but is evolving even more. HNW and ultra HNW clients are changing from exclusively being the older matriarchs or patriarchs of their families.
The traditional HNW client
The traditional HNW or ultra-HNW client is often someone who is a Baby Boomer or older. Perhaps they have accumulated their wealth from owning a business, a professional career such as a doctor or a lawyer, or some other business capacity.
Their needs generally encompass investment advice, retirement and tax planning expertise, and in many cases, legacy planning for their heirs. This advice often involves trusts and other estate planning vehicles to facilitate the transfer of wealth to their heirs during their lifetimes and death.
The next generation HNW client
We are in the midst of the most significant inter-generational transfer of wealth in history. Data firm Cerulli Associates projects this wealth transfer at $68 trillion over the next 25 years.
In some cases, the next generation of older HNW clients’ families may become your new HNW and ultra-HNW clients. As the beneficiaries of the trusts and other legacy planning you helped their parents and other relatives establish, you may continue the relationship. This opportunity highlights the importance of establishing and actively maintaining ties with the children and other family members of your older HNW clients.
In other cases, this next generation of HNW clients might seek you out after inheriting wealth from relatives who were not your clients as part of this inter-generational wealth transfer.
The founder client
These HNW and ultra-HNW clients are newly wealthy business owners who have built up wealth through their business.
These entrepreneur clients may have sold their company and cashed out, generating a large amount of cash that needs to be invested. They generally need help with full-service financial planning that could include legacy planning, establishing trusts, and other specialized advice from a qualified RIA firm like yours.
In other cases, these clients may still be running the business and looking for full-service, comprehensive financial planning, including help in crafting an exit strategy.
When working with HNW and ultra-HNW clients on their often complex financial planning issues, having cutting-edge technology such as trading and rebalancing software can help you differentiate your capabilities to service the full range of accounts and requirements peculiar to clients of extraordinary wealth.