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Article initially published on Paperjam. Read the article here

I recently came across an editorial I wrote 2 years ago, describing the “new normal” in the private wealth sector, in a post-pandemic era. Fast forward to today, it feels like this new normal has taken on a totally different shape, requiring businesses of all sizes to continue to evolve and transform.

I recently came across an editorial I wrote 2 years ago, describing the “new normal” in the private wealth sector, in a post-pandemic era. Fast forward to today, it feels like this new normal has taken on a totally different shape, requiring businesses of all sizes to continue to evolve and transform.

The current geopolitical environment has made our world even more unpredictable and complex. This is underscored further by the shifting market dynamics and challenges affecting wealth holders. For example,
according to Knight Frank [1], the biggest wealth creation and preservation concerns for High-Net-Worth individuals (HNWIs) in 2022 include: inflation (70%), tax and regulation (70%), new Covid-19 variants (66%), domestic government policy (65%), and interest rates (60%). It is no surprise that these are closely followed by armed conflicts (57%).

As a result, asset protection, portfolio diversification and bespoke wealth planning are becoming much more important criteria. With wealth structuring and intergenerational planning becoming more multifaceted, wealth professionals need to ensure they are well equipped and resourced to manage their clients’ evolving needs and expectations.

Advisers need to seize the opportunities ahead - the annual Boston Consulting Group wealth study, commented that global private wealth grew by 10.6% last year to a record $530trn, the largest increase in a decade[2].

Moreover, anecdotal feedback from clients shows that they are becoming even more focused on performance, quality of service, and on their user experience with their chosen providers. This in turn positively encourages providers to work harder looking at greater innovation and new ways of operating in the Wealth Assurance industry and beyond. Digital-enabled new offerings and process automation continue to progress at pace, presenting new opportunities to not only retain, but attract new clients, enabling advisers to focus on the client relationship.

How do we stay future fit and relevant to our clients and partners?

Perhaps, today more than ever, it is about truly embracing the KISS (if you pardon the pun!) - Keep It Simple and Smart – which is a well-known and trusted principle. It’s a concept[3] that I described in an editorial a couple of years ago – why? Well, I firmly believe:

  • Leading a diverse, high performing international commercial team, it’s all about people.  Success begets success, but this is only possible by maintaining close contact with business partners, especially in these turbulent times. The key element to this is building trust to nurture these partnerships for the long term. This means being visible, on the ground, listening to concerns and feedback and to identify solutions for both the short and long-term.  It also means, sometimes, having to compromise with our own goals and priorities to remain nimble in a dynamic marketplace.

  • Having the courage of your convictions and leading by example are critical to building trust and maintaining market leadership. Wealth planning is for the long-term and therefore must be viewed over a time horizon that doesn’t put unwarranted pressure on businesses that ultimately do not benefit clients and their advisers. I’ve always been an advocate of value-based selling and a strong believer that we are, first and foremost, a provider of service. To keep delivering our best service, from a technical structuring, client relationship and policy servicing perspective, we must ensure that the business grows sustainably whilst delivering operational excellence.

  • In times like these, KISS is also about continuing to invest in enhancing and upgrading value propositions and servicing capabilities. It’s certainly one of the lessons that the pandemic has taught us. I firmly believe that the new normal will continue to blend digital capabilities with in-person expertise - delivering greater efficiencies and a better client experience. This will enable us to empower our people to spend more time on value-added tasks and developing even stronger relationships.

  • Challenging times can often serve as a catalyst to innovation! For example, over the past 24 months, we have seen an increased demand from clients to protect their portfolios during times of high market volatility. We responded in a swift way to develop and launch, in record time, a relevant, compliant and efficient solution – ‘Wealth Preservation Life Cover’ which provides protection across relevant markets.

  • While we continue to invest in our business infrastructure, we equally keep investing in our people. We have developed a clear employee value proposition across the organisation, based upon our values, covering all aspects: from recruitment, career development and learning, to having fun at work and beyond. Attracting, retaining and nurturing talent enables us to further develop trust with our partners and clients, ultimately allowing us to grasp the opportunities ahead, today and into the tomorrow.


Jurgen Vanhoenacker
Executive Director Of Business Development and Wealth Structuring