Women in Wealth, Five Minute Interview: Karen M Troy, Sr Relationship Manager, RBC Wealth Management Intl

Date: 25 Jun 2012


What signature taxation, laws, trusts or investments do you think really work for uhnw clients and why?
I work with clients from around the world, and many are multi-jurisdictional and multi-generational families, so there really are no cookie cutter investment or trust solutions that fit all. But, what we find that allows these types of families the flexibility many of them wish for is the utilization of private trust companies. We strongly encourage the heads of the families to involve the next generation, when appropriate, in the decision-making process, which enables them to learn about money, structuring, and take some responsibility for it. By establishing advisory boards in private trusts, various members of the family may get involved, which helps preserve the wealth for many generations.

Are there any private clients in the world you would really like to work with?

For me personally, it isn’t so much going after a particular client, but a particular type of client. I like to work with uhnw families, particularly families that want the future generation to understand the values of the previous generations and build upon these. I also like to work with families that like to involve the family in their decisions, teaching current and future generations to not only take care of themselves, but also the greater good, through charitable giving.

Are women really going to take over the world?

I believe women are excellent in relationship managing and organizing multiple service providers and teams. But in order for the client to be able to see things from all angles, it is beneficial to have a team of people with different perspectives.

What size of client do you generally work with and how many do you have or what AUM do you manage?

My business model is focused on having a small number of uhnw clients. My focus is on only adding clients who are the right fit and find value in my being a member of their team.

What lessons have you learned that you could share with women starting out in the finance industry?

Be yourself; do not try to act like a man. Understand what the industry values. Speak up when you have something to say, and be precise. Promote yourself—no one else will. If something positive has happened, it is up to you to find a way to get that information to your superiors, contacts and clients.

What are your three USP’s (unique selling points) for working with uhnw clients?

Be responsive to my clients and their teams. Don’t put off answering them–even if I don’t have the answer and keep them informed and I always follow through with what I say I will do.

Believe in what you do and the passion will show through.

Be proactive in searching for solutions.

What initiatives do you have or do you think there should be for women?

Mentoring is vitally important to learning and growing. RBC has a strong mentoring program, which is one of the reasons we have so many women in powerful positions. I also don’t think it should just be women mentoring women; there really is something to be learned from anyone.

Do you think the British government should legislate to bring women on boards as they did in Norway?

I believe that sometimes companies need to be encouraged to place women in positions of power, but not so far as to place women in positions for which they are not qualified, just because they are women. My generation saw unqualified women promoted in the past just to fill quotas, and it not only harms women, but companies overall. There are many deserving, qualified women out in the workplace currently that can do a lot of good, when given an opportunity.

If you had to win a wealthy new client where would you take them to impress them?

I do not entertain clients to impress them. I show them who we are as an organization, and who I am as an individual who will represent them. By demonstrating my passion and my value-system, I show them that I will always do the very best I can and will always work in their best interest, I feel like I can better impress them in this manner than through expensive dinners.

What is the best thing that has ever been said about you?

While I cannot attest to exactly what was said about me, I was referred by three different attorneys from different parts of the world to the same client as someone to talk to about trusts. I was incredibly honoured that these different people all saw the value in having an uhnw client speaking with me.

What is your individual focus in terms of countries and uhnw clients?

I do not focus on any one country, as uhnw clients are across the world. My focus is on multi-generational and multi-jurisdictional families. Their plans may also be multi-jurisdictional. We are seeing more families that work to teach each generation to be good steward of their own assets, as well as to the world as a whole.

How much do you travel on business and where do you tend to go?

I travel about a week a month. Although I travel to many different places (the list continues to grow), currently the majority of my travel is to London, New York and the Caribbean.

What is the next big thing in private wealth management?

After experiencing the global economic crisis, clients are looking to do business with safe and secure institutions that are well-established and have transparency. We increasingly see clients doing their due diligence and research to find institutions who have responsible stewardship of client assets – who carefully manage assets and risk.

What would you tell a divorcing woman in the UK whether she was British or International and why?

Work hard to separate the emotion from economic issues, but do not be dragged into mud-slinging or nasty behaviour. No one wins that way and you’ll feel bad about yourself in the end. Take the high road emotionally, but be focused economically.

What charities do you support and why?

I passionately support Operation Smile, which is an international children’s medical charity that heals children’s cleft lips and palates, forever changing their lives. It is so wonderful to be able to help support an organization dedicated to healing children’s smiles and bringing hope for a better future.

How do you make it to the top in finance?

You need to be focused and successful in relationship management whether that is with clients, external advisors or internal colleagues. The keys are to be consistent and to always do what you say you are going to do and when you say you are going to do it.

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