Integrity may not be a trait that has always been synonymous with wealth management – an industry that, in more recent years, has been subject to stronger regulation. However, Daryl Grundy of Arjent Wealth Management argues it’s a quality that’s essential for succeeding in a sector that focuses absolutely on the individual and their needs.
Traditionally, financial planning and investment management were kept quite separate. Over the past ten-15 years however, the two have combined ensuring that a client has access to all sections of wealth management. Providing a quality end-to-end service for individuals has become crucial.
How many types of wealth management are there though, and what will be the best fit for your personality?
Investment banks such as Citi, JP Morgan and UBS have a private client division. They bring companies to market and produce equity from people who want to sell their business. Retail banks, such as Barclays or Coutts, are easier to get into and are particularly suitable for entry level into the sector. Although Daryl eventually opted for setting up his own ’boutique’, which has allowed him more ‘freedom of action’, he asserts that even somewhere like Barclays, with its layers of management can offer a ‘great deal of flexibility’.
Private banks tend to be more ‘traditionalist’ and provide fewer low- level entry roles.
Building Relationships is Crucial
In the world of investment management, you need to be adept at managing relationships.This is good news for officers who, even though they may be lacking the technical knowledge or expertise, have a long history and experience of managing Daryl says: “There is still wide scope for you as client-facing roles and retention are an important part of the sector.”
Sales Ability is Important
Don’t let negative stereotypes of the ‘wideboy’ salesman abusing their ‘gift of the gab’ diminish the importance of selling. Daryl says: “No one from the Services wants to admit to being ‘salesmen’, they think they’re ‘above it’. But you still need to be able to convince people.” Being able to promote products and services to your clients is still a required skill. But remember, this is not about ‘blagging’, what’s crucial is your experience of building and maintaining relationships.
Integrity, integrity, integrity
It’s absolutely key, says Daryl, and is the quality that attracts many employers to ex-military.
“People always buy people, and as you will be entrusted with people’s personal wealth integrity is a very important part.” He adds: “Even though you’re new to the trade, employers won’t mind that you’re still learning as, ultimately, they want to work with people they can trust.”
The sector can reap great rewards for those who thrive on the competitive edge and uncapped earnings, but it’s important to ask yourself what you value most. If financial security is imperative to you then you may wish to go in on an entry, base level of around £60k, where you’ll receive decent benefits and discretionary bonus. Most private investment bankers can expect to earn around £100k.
However, if you prefer to work based on your actual performance and are prepared to take the risk, there is the option to start on a lower base salary of around £40k with fewer benefits. The trade off is uncapped earnings that, if successful, will go up to three times as much as a general base salary. As Daryl says: “It is riskier but you’re given time to prove yourself and as long as you have a game plan, it can work out well.”
Listen to the full recording of Starting a Career in Wealth Management.