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Looking to a future golden heritage for intermediaries

Just like the families they advise, intermediaries need clear strategies to survive and prosper. They currently have a golden opportunity, as personal advisors in an age of growing automation. Julius Baer is taking steps to help intermediaries fashion their own future legacies.

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With the world still facing considerable uncertainty as the pandemic starts to recede, the asset managers that serve wealthy families have several approaching challenges to resolve. In the last 18 months, the issues of social inequality and wealth preservation, US/China geopolitics and ESG investing have loomed larger than ever.

Introducing our annual Intermediaries’ Conference in September, Fashioning Future Heritage, Nic Dreckmann, COO & Head Intermediaries, highlighted these three topics. How they are tackled will influence the future heritages of both asset managers and the families they advise, he said.

Just like wealthy, multi-generational families, so intermediaries and asset managers need to approach times like these with clear strategies for tackling the change that they face. While intermediaries have the powerful advantage of strong personal relationships with their clients, they still must act if they wish to prosper, according to Dreckmann.

Putting the theme of prospering over the long term into context, Raymond Baer, Honorary Chairman of the Julius Baer Group, told the story of how the bank has survived and prospered for 131 years. Through four generations of the Baer family, it has adapted to a series of crises – not least the pandemic of 2020-2021.

Over the following two days, Julius Baer specialists presented their insights on today’s issues, in particular addressing multi-family offices. They were views were often surprising.

1. Investment trends – getting fit for the future

Christian Gattiker, Head of Research, painted an optimistic picture of the outlook for investment markets. While admitting that “the fat returns are over,” he opined that the global economy is in the middle of its cycle, with opportunities in defensive, high-quality stocks, as well as next-generation megatrends like healthy living, future mobility and the circular economy.

2. Sustainability & ESG – from niche to mainstream

On the topic of sustainable investing, Yvonne Suter, Head Sustainability and Director of the Sustainability Board, highlighted that it is now possible to invest both to achieve compelling returns and to do good. She was joined by Norbert Ruecker, Head of Economics and Next Generation Research, who tackled the key topic of how ESG data can be used to build portfolios tailored to specific clients’ goals.

3. Wealth planning – when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Turning to wealth planning, Guy Simonius, Head of Family Office Services, gave a taste of forthcoming research about current wealth management issues for multi-family offices. He also advised about how to take the emotion out of planning legacies. “Talking about purpose and values and how to manage wealth enables us to take away emotions and start to educate family members,” he noted.

How can Julius Baer help?

In line with our hallmark partnership approach to working with intermediaries, Julius Baer has been looking at how we can introduce more value-added services to empower your success and the success of your clients. We have been investing in our people’s expertise, the technology we use to complement our relationships and service offerings such as wealth planning.

At our conference, Raymond Baer described the brave decisions the Bank has taken time and again to fuel its growth, even in times of crisis. We are preparing to help intermediaries to take similar decisions to protect your future heritage – both your own, and that of your clients.

Key takeaways

  • The pandemic has ushered in a unique set of challenges for wealth managers and intermediaries.
  • Intermediaries’ trusting personal relationships with clients put them in a strong position.
  • Julius Baer is making investments and expanding its service offering, specifically to help intermediaries.

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