The growth of the self-made super-rich (net worth = U.S. $500 million or more) is strongest in Asia. Wealth managers running the spectrum from private bankers to multi-family offices as well as other professionals seeking to do business with these exceptional high-net-worth individuals need to recognize a number of key characteristics and preferences.
The majority of extreme wealth creation is tightly tied to very successful businesses. Moreover, most of these Asian entrepreneurs are presently managing their businesses with the intent of growing them. This leads to a need to work with firms that can provide structured finance. Being able to provide this expertise is not a necessity, but it is vey important and places those firms that can deliver in a very good position to garner additional business. This is transforming some of the traditional private banks into private/investment banks.
According to Rick Flynn, managing partner of FFO Business Management & Family Office and the author of The High-Functioning Single-Family Office, “Investment management is often a small portion of the relationship between wealth managers and the self-made Asian super-rich. Advanced planning focusing on tax mitigation is a much more meaningful and in demand set of services. Many of these tycoons have extensive international holdings making a range of cross-border tax and asset protection planning extremely important to them.”
What is very telling is that many Asian self-made super-rich are digital natives requiring wealth managers to be adept communicating with them in the way. This does not negate the need for personal interactions for skilled, high-touch knowledgeable relationship managers are essential.
With the tremendous opportunities the Asian self-made super-rich provide to wealth managers, the competition is intense. More and more wealth managers and other professionals are trying to build high-return businesses by working with them.
The ability to access the self-made super-rich where they are inclined to create very high barriers is critical. The most effective way for wealth managers to connect with them is street-smart networking or some similar process. At the same time, being recognized by this cohort and their other advisors as one of the best of the best can be astoundingly effective in gaining access and winning them over. This stature regularly goes to wealth managers who are recognized industry through leaders.