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Wealth management for business leaders and owners

17 March 14

It makes sense for a business owner to engage wealth managers when starting to plan for future disposal, freeing them to continue generating value

by Craig Gibson

As a leader or owner in your business, you probably know how to do nearly everything your business requires in real time, both so that you have a general idea of your staff’s activities and so that you can step in during emergencies and absences. Ideally, however, every role and function in your business should be performed by someone who’s particularly good at it.

While there are some things that only you have the authority or knowledge to accomplish, the principle of specialisation states that your business will do best when you, personally, are most effectively leveraging your time and knowledge by bringing to bear your personal highest value-adds as often as possible. Since time is ultimately everyone’s most limited resource, turning to an experienced guide with specialised wealth management expertise therefore makes a good deal of sense. By doing so, you’ll gain three substantial advantages.

First, you can expect much better long-term results, since your company’s wealth will be shepherded and stewarded by experts with a high level of competency. Secondly, since you’re likely already involved with certain wealth management decisions and activities, by turning these over to professionals you’ll actually save yourself time right from the start (thereby enabling you to leverage yourself more effectively).

And thirdly, given that this is a critically important area that affects the long-term wellbeing of those who depend upon you, you’ll likely sleep better at night and focus better during the day. Wealth management, in short, is a complex domain of great importance where the assistance of able professionals will provide great value, both in terms of measurable outcomes and in terms of freeing you up to do what you do best.

A systematic and expert-oriented approach

Over the years, many of those offering wealth management advice to affluent individuals and business owners have changed their title and approach from “financial adviser” to “financial planner” to “wealth manager”. A financial adviser mainly offered financial products and investment advice; with financial planners, there was an evolution that involved comprehensive planning based on an in-depth analysis of the client’s needs. Finally, the modern wealth manager plans for and advises not just on financial needs per se, but on everything that affects the client’s short and long-term wealth.

The best wealth managers make use of (1) a systematic, customised, and consultative approach; and (2) a team of outside experts to address critical matters requiring specialised expertise. First, then, look for a wealth manager who employs a detailed process specifically designed to discover the depths of who you are, so that your financial and non-financial goals, needs and desires can be properly understood and served. Importantly, you also want a wealth manager who provides a consultative approach, that is, someone who stays in regular contact with you, solicits your input and feedback, and works with you the way you want to be worked with.

You also want a wealth management firm that recognises and then transcends its own limitations by calling on a team of outside experts – such as specialised solicitors, accountants, investment managers and insurance brokers – to discuss your particular situation and then offer you a palette of customised options.
For example, suppose you plan to sell your successful business within 10 years. The planning needed to carry this off in as advantageous a manner as possible will best be accomplished if individuals with specialised legal, tax, investment and insurance expertise are brought into the conversation early on and then regularly consulted with. In the short run, this may not be the least expensive way to go about planning to sell your business, but in the long run you – and your family and other constituents – will likely be much better off.

As the leader or owner of a successful business, you necessarily have a tremendous number of details to attend to. If you identify and come to rely on a good wealth management firm, you’ll still have many decisions to make, but you’ll do so with the help of those who are doing what they do best, thereby freeing you to focus on doing what you do best in leading your business to higher levels of achievement and profitability.

Craig T Gibson
Managing Director AGL Wealth Management Ltd
Glasgow: 0141 314 3765
Edinburgh: 0131 240 3830
email: info@aglwealth.com web: www.aglwealth.com

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