Diversity is the key to our success: accepting a religious blessing won us a client

Date: 11 Nov 2015

Bumblebee Design

Michael Kay, managing director, office of the deputy chair – UHNW at RBC Wealth Management, also says that post-financial crisis, UHNW clients are worried about counter party risk.

What are your three best tips for developing trust with an UHNW client?

Firstly, a successful adviser to an UHNW client develops a keen understanding of the client’s business by visiting operations in market and staying updated on the challenges and opportunities that their business faces and how those changes will affect the client’s wealth.

Secondly, providing a good service; UHNW clients don’t often leave their financial institutions because of product, they leave because of poor service or inadequate access to leadership. Our job is to imagine the very best service that we could provide, and then to exceed those expectations.

Finally, remaining close to key influencers and advisers. They often hold the keys to information and strategic thought leadership of their principals.  Quarterly meetings help the UHNW banker remain in position by understanding their client’s evolving needs.

What do UHNW clients need to watch out for when deciding to change their wealth manager or adviser?

Post-financial crisis, UHNW clients are worried about counterparty risk and should look carefully at the strength, stability and diversity of their financial partners. 

How do you deal with younger UHNW clients?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of UHNW clients: wealth creators and wealth stewards. While that’s not always the case, younger UHNW clients are often wealth creators, with a barbell wealth strategy, namely risk capital investments into their business balanced by often meaningful cash held for deployment. These clients are often credit and cash management consumers and will ask their financial partners to offer a wide variety of bespoke credit solutions tailored to their needs and to offer unique cash management opportunities created to match their liquidity and credit risk requirements.

Have you noticed any shifts in the private client work in the past five years?

There has been a fundamental shift towards enhanced transparency, in part driven by the evolving global regulatory framework, and equally by our clients who want their providers to offer more simplified services.  

Have you needed to broaden your knowledge of different ethnic customs and religious beliefs to win new or maintain existing UHNW clients?

Yes.  Diversity is the key to our success in servicing the needs of international UHNW clients. By way of example I was visiting an UHNW client prospect and he wanted to offer me a blessing very standard in his country and in his religion. I was honoured to accept this blessing and we won the client.

What are the best strategies you’ve seen for keeping UHNW clients?

It is a mix of providing relationship management, access to solutions expertise across the enterprise, and prudent assessment of the rapidly changing risks which impact the UHNW client, their family and their environment. When we get those ingredients balanced in the right proportions, we win a client for life.