Accurate, timely and consistent information has fast become the number one consideration for clients of the wealth management and private wealth space, according to Simon Critchlow, Head of Sales at London-based mutual fund market analysis and research company Mackay Williams LLP.
Speaking at an event focussed on the wealth management and private wealth segments, hosted by investment marketing and communications specialist JPES Partners in May, Critchlow unpacked the findings from MackayWilliams’ Annual Brand Survey – Fund Buyer Focus.
The report, a survey of 1000 firms catering for the HMWI segments, highlights the importance that clients are putting on a firm’s ability to distribute information and the increasing significance of a clear communications strategy.
Since the start of 2015, there has been a notable shift in the fund selection criteria with information provision at the top of what clients are looking for in terms of sales. In terms of product needs, the data also revealed that transparency and reporting tops performance, product range and investment process.
Joining Simon at the JPES event was Tom Burroughes, Group Editor at ClearView Financial Media, publisher of WealthBriefing. Having covered the HNWI beat for more than a decade, Tom was on hand to give the media perspective on the changes facing the industry.
The issue of the private wealth industry continuing to be marred by trust issues was raised – a legacy of mis-selling scandals - with suggestions that the industry continues to be far opaquer than its financial services counterparts.
The breakfast raised many an important issue, such as how a firm conveys to HNWIs that they are wealthy enough seek a wealth manager; and how a firm adequately conveys that risk management is at the heart of its foundations.
The need for clear, transparent communication seemed to be the unanimous answer – and in times of uncertainty, HNWIs – and wider society - tend to opt for trusted brands over the unknown, emphasising again the need for clear and effective communication.
Closing the session, the two guests pointed to the very real risk of another major market event occurring as one of the biggest risks currently facing the HMWI industry – a risk that all of us should be cognisant of.