In our 60 second interview series, Citywealth speaks to Eva Lindholm, head of the UBS Wealth Management business in the UK and Jersey, about the changing priorities people attach to their wealth and keeping in mind that clients come first, always.
Tell me about your role.
I started as Head of the UBS Wealth Management business in the UK and Jersey in October 2017, following various leadership roles at UBS Wealth Management. I was attracted to the role because of the opportunity to work with an industry-leading team, serving senior people across the country who have built their own businesses and contributed to the economy and society.
How has the private client industry changed?
Firstly, we are seeing a great shift in where our clients’ wealth is coming from. The source of people’s wealth is diversifying, an archetypal wealthy individual or family with cookie-cutter goals no longer exists (if it ever existed at all). Part of this is driven by women, who are creating wealth at an unprecedentedly quick rate, but also by the next generation, who are the recipients of a multi-trillion-dollar transfer of wealth. Secondly, the client mindset is changing across the board. We are seeing a shift in the priorities people attach to their wealth, with purpose playing a far greater role.
We are a service industry and must adapt to this transformation in order to remain relevant. While the sector has in the past been focused on products, a modern wealth management plan requires delivery of solutions that address our clients' needs. This means that all of the parts that make up a combined total wealth solution, including succession planning, philanthropy and impact investing, need to be delivered with the client’s life goals in mind. We have been steadily equipping our advisors to deliver the necessary viewpoints and experience to address the needs of these diverse segments.
What lessons have you learnt?
The most important lesson is that clients come first. Always. While it may seem obvious, it is something the industry lost sight of leading up to the financial crisis. In 2012, UBS made the strategic decision to put wealth management at the heart of the firm's business, and we have focused with intent on building an offering and service model that more than ever puts the client and their goals first.
Tell us about interesting client instructions.
No two clients are identical. I relish the opportunity that my job provides to interact with a range of successful individuals and their families, each with their own unique story, goals, challenges and opportunities. Whether it’s managing the consequences of their first liquidity event, planning their family’s future, adapting how they invest to accord with their evolving needs or stage of life, or setting up a philanthropic foundation, every client we work with is interesting in their own way.
What challenges do your clients face?
Over the past year, investors have been faced with the twin challenge of how to weather heightened market volatility, as well as low absolute interest rates. This has understandably been unsettling. Meanwhile, uncertainty, both political and economic, is increasingly weighing on clients’ minds. In fact, in our recent Investor Sentiment Survey, the domestic political environment was identified as the most concerning issue for our UK client base. Volatility and uncertainty underscore the importance of holding diversified portfolios, reducing correlation, and increasing agility. This is something our Chief Investment Office always advocates for our clients.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your role?
It is great to come to work in the morning. Wealth management is fundamentally about people, both our colleagues and our clients. I’m proud to work within such a talented network of people, with diverse backgrounds and experiences. It is inspiring to see them forge deep relationships, both in London and in our many regional UK offices, with our clients.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
You can learn something from absolutely everyone.
What was the last book you’ve read?
I always have a stack of books waiting to be read. Most recently, I read "Factfulness" by the late Hans Rosling and his son and daughter.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Dr Rosling previously and have great admiration for the thoughtful work he has done, his rigorous respect for the facts, and his ability to bring his work to life in such an engaging manner.
Where was the last place you travelled to for work or pleasure?
For work: Milan. For pleasure: Jamaica over the New Year’s break. No stress over there.
How do you relax after a long day?
I need to move around – even if it just means a long walk. My idea of torture is to be sedentary all day, and then go for a formal sit-down dinner. If I can do just the opposite, I am happy.