The 3 Mega-Trends in the Wealth Management Business
Jeff Thomas | May 11 2020
The Model is Broken!
For years, that’s what I said about the wealth management business.
For 25 years, I worked at two of the largest global wealth management companies. In that time, I learned a lot — many positive things and also many not-so-positive things about the industry.
A few years ago, one of my industry colleagues and I were having a cold beverage. He was listening to one of my rants about how the industry needed to change. Finally, he told me:
“Please either do something about it or stop talking!”
I did something about it. In 2017, our team left Morgan Stanley and started Archetype Wealth Partners. Our vision is to build the ideal, God-honoring wealth management company. We want to one day be in the largest 10 firms in the wealth management industry so that we can make a greater, positive impact. Our mission is to connect clients’ money with their purpose so that their family thrives across generations. Our core focus is to help people live abundantly. We understand that money is a big source of conflict and struggle for many families. We would like to not only minimize that pain, but turn that money headwind into a tailwind for people to maximize their potential.
- The Industry Needs to Grow Up – The vast majority of Americans don’t have pension plans. Combine that with the fact that life expectancies have extended considerably in the last several generations and you have a recipe for demand for an industry that can help people plan for their financial future. As the industry matures, it needs to move from a product sales model to a real professional services industry;
- Narrative Before Numbers – Too much time is spent by this industry on jargon about investments and not enough time is spent on listening and understanding the clients’ past and desires for the future. Only when a client's narrative is put before her numbers can a truly customized plan be developed.
- The Need for a New Culture – For too long, salespeople in the wealth management industry have said they “put clients first.” The reality is that most of them represent the bank or insurance company who employs them, instead of being pure fiduciaries who represent the client first. The government and the public are waking up to this fact, and the winning firms of the future will be ahead of this curve.
As we “Rebuild Wall Street”, we see many qualities of the current industry that need to change in order to deliver better outcomes for clients and create a great place for people to do meaningful work.
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