Need an airplane in a hurry? Planning a big party and want those over the top touches? Longing to go to that “impossible to get tickets to” event? Finding it difficult to find competent estate managers for your many homes? In the intensely competitive world of wealth management for ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families, organizations are looking for unique ways to differentiate themselves from the pack. One increasingly popular option is adding specialty concierge services to the product and service mix.
Wealth managers make their money primarily by managing assets. But in the era of open architecture and customized portfolios, it’s hard for most companies to make a clear and provable argument of investment superiority. And of course, it’s still true that past results are not an indicator of future returns.
On the other hand, helping clients manage their personal lives can be an effective and tangible way to demonstrate added value. “If you don’t offer these services, you risk exposing your client to other firms that are willing to do it and take your client’s money too,” stated Optima Group President Ken Hoffman in a March 20, 2014 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Banks Pull Out All the Stops for the Ultra-Rich.”
But today’s concierge services have gone far beyond simply paying bills, preparing tax returns, or even walking the dog. Nowadays, concierge platforms have become big business. Specialized firms offering the latest in bespoke offerings are increasingly being contracted by wealth management companies to enhance their core service packages. Services offered can range from locating that one of a kind piece of jewelry, art or collectible to helping arrange for elder-care for family members to finding just the right private island for the family vacation.
So next time your client mentions how he or she has always wanted to be front row for Fashion Week or worries about little Susie or Sammy “roughing it” in the dorm at college, be ready to say, “Yeah (although perhaps “yes” might be a little more appropriate for your clientele), we’ve got that.”