Alex Dean, Head of Private Wealth UK at IQ-EQ, tells Citywealth why he likens his role to that of a conductor.
Tell Citywealth’s readers about your role.
I joined IQ-EQ back in August as the Group’s first Head of Private Wealth UK. As a new role, this was mine to shape, but it has primarily been focused on leading the commercial development and execution of our private wealth segment, with a specific focus on the UK.
In brief, there are two key functions to my role. Firstly, building connections between clients, intermediaries and private wealth professionals around the world. This includes developing connections with non-wealth sectors, including fund administration. Connectivity like this helps our clients and business partners access a personalised service, providing access to global opportunities.
The second aspect of my role is to keep my ear to the ground in the private wealth landscape. This means staying ahead of the curve and ensuring we deliver the most up to date and value-adding wealth solutions.
Talk us through a typical day.
There is no typical day. As a relative newcomer to the business, I’ve spent a great deal of time getting to know my colleagues and their unique set of skills and expertise.
One of the big attractions of private wealth means working with a wide variety of asset types and service providers. From classic cars to private offices, our work means working with a wide variety of agents, banks and surveyors. I also spend much of my time working closely with external partners and the other professionals who make up our client’s virtual family offices. I’d say my role is most like that of a conductor, coordinating talent and know-how for the benefit of clients.
What is keeping your clients up at night?
Covid-19 drove many people to reflect on their future. A rapidly changing situation meant people were forced to confront overlooked issues, such as intergenerational planning. The emphasis on this has also likely been heightened by strong returns in global financial markets. If the markets had not recovered from their lows in April 2020, perhaps clients would have been worried about the return of capital, however, the real worry should be what uncertainty there is to come next to threaten your wealth.
What is the biggest disruptor to your industry?
Long-term, environmental pressures will without a doubt be the biggest industry disruptor. Those with fiduciary responsibilities will have to balance the interests of beneficiaries’ financial rewards with preventing environmental harm. In the shorter term, technology. The breakneck speed of technological change and change in expectations creates both challenges and opportunities for the industry. For example, the ability to hold and transact in cryptocurrency is both exciting and a massive challenge. Technology will remain a consistent disruptor and those who create the enabling technology will be the winners.
Most memorable or proudest work moment?
The personal connections I’ve built and the trust I’ve established throughout my career bring me the greatest personal satisfaction. Every time a client has introduced me to their family as the ‘one to call’ is a proud moment.
If you weren’t in the private wealth sector, what else might you be doing?
Probably a chef. I’m a keen cook, the creativity combined with the science of cooking is a beautiful art and a hugely rewarding pastime.