There is no doubt that COVID-19 has caused a lot of anxiety and inconvenience in our lives.
Though our daily routine has been greatly impacted by the situation, it seems like many people have got used to the new normal.
We are now very familiar with having virtual meetings with clients and colleagues, children are learning via online platforms and people are doing online social gatherings with friends and families.
In the wealth management area, we are also seeing new demands from clients and intermediaries in this challenging time.
There are a few trends which have emerged in the market and are echoed in our latest whitepaper on the evolution of family offices in Asia, which are summarized as follows:
1. Manage family wealth in a more professional way.
In the past, some high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and their families planned the management of their family wealth in an ad hoc fashion, which sometimes resulted in tardy or even ill-conceived estate planning. This would create unnecessary risks to the family wealth portfolio, especially during unprecedented times. The importance of adopting a professional, formal and international practice, with a prudent market outlook to manage family wealth, has become far more important.
2. International travel is not easy. Who can help us manage assets abroad?
Using a family office to help might be the solution, not only to manage an investment portfolio but also to handle administrative and lifestyle tasks outside the home country where HNWIs reside.
In our latest whitepaper, we highlighted the fact that more and more of Asia’s HNWIs and their families are utilizing single-family offices, or independent, external multi-family offices, or even the family office services offered by the private banks, to support their international wealth management work.
3. Diversification outside traditional assets and investment vehicles.
For many years, properties and other traditional assets have been the preferred choices when families diversified their portfolios in the US and Europe. With the volatility in global equity markets and oil prices, we have seen family offices looking for opportunities in alternatives, sustainable and ESG investing, which has also attracted the attention of second-generation HNWIs.
4. Family governance is rising.
It is one of the key successes to supporting the evolvement of family wealth planning. Members of many wealthy Asian families are now resided in different locations around the globe and some are significantly generationally diverse.
They are now demanding greater transparency, or a higher level of involvement, in making key decisions related to the family planning process. It is important to have a clear family constitution, which is effectively a statement of the family’s vision and core values to serve as a road map to make sure different family members are aligned with the approach in planning family succession.
Challenges always lead to opportunities and the way we work with clients on wealth planning has also changed within this uncertain future.
Even though the path lying ahead of us is not smooth, with trust and belief, we will evolve and become stronger.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.