For high net worth clients, the central focus of any investment advice is on their wishes and expectations. The goal is to achieve added value for the client, relative to the risk undertaken and the developments on the financial markets. What this means in detail is explained in this interview with Christophe Grünig, Head of Wealth management of the Vontobel Group.
Christophe Grünig, what is the success of your company’s investment advice based on?
The investment advice that our clients are entitled to expect is based on three pillars: First, they benefit from our integrated business model comprising Private Banking, As- set Management and Investment Banking. We are able to call upon all this expertise – especially research – and put it to use for our clients; it flows without time delay into the preparation of investment proposals.
What are the other two pillars?
The second pillar is our active investment style across regions, asset classes and currencies, an approach we care- fully cultivate because we are convinced it is best. This is in contrast to a passive philosophy, which merely reflects a given index. We pay particular attention to emerging global changes, such as population growth in emerging markets. Global Change as a Megatrend offers opportunities for superior returns.
And the third success factor?
We profile our clients using elements from behavioral finance. Based on specific questions, clients’ situations and patterns of behavior are determined in order to derive the best possible strategy for them. This disciplined focus on a clear investment strategy leads to better longer-term performance.
What does this mean for clients concretely?
If a client decides to seek advice from us, we carefully and comprehensively analyse his personal situation, his wishes and objectives. On this basis, we integrate insights from behavioural finance, taking into account of course how much knowledge the client himself brings to the table. Then, together we define the investment and risk strategy. Based on this starting point, the client advisor develops a personal investment proposal for the client.
How is this investment proposal developed?
Primarily, the investment proposal has to fit with the personal risk-return profile of the client and the goals he has defined. In preparing it, the client advisor is supported by our advanced IT systems as well as the combined expertise of our integrated bank. But the final decision to implement it is still the client’s to make.
How is the client relationship structured following this decision?
On an opportunistic basis, the client receives appropriate buy and sell recommendations for his portfolio from our investment specialists. His portfolio is systematically adjusted on a daily basis – and if the portfolio deviates from the investment strategy due to market volatility or changes in the recommendations, the client advisor notifies the client promptly and presents concrete proposals for adjusting it. Thus, the client is always assured that his portfolio is in agreement with his investment strategy. At regular intervals, we also check whether the client’s personal situation – and therefore his needs – may have changed, too.
Do investment advisory clients have a choice between various mandates?
Yes. Our clients can choose between three different advisory mandates, each with a different scope of services. The individuality of each client is our priority. We believe it is important that the client gets what best matches his needs.
Investment advisory services – the client has the choice
The classic advisory mandate is aimed at clients with the desire for traditional Private Banking, information and advisory services. The central point of contact is the personal client advisor. He advises and assists clients in all aspects of investment advice and develops together with the client a customized solution. The portfolio is monitored daily on a systematic basis. The client makes his own choice how frequently he wishes to be contacted. Depending on the occasion, the client receives appropriate buy and sell recommendations based on the experience of the bank’s investment specialists. Rounding out the service are regular reporting, plus accounting, credit card and payment services.
Advisory mandate premium
The advisory mandate premium is aimed at clients who desire more proactive investment advice that goes beyond that of the classic advisory mandate. Actively and opportunistically, the client advisor proposes attractive investment proposals to the client. At regular intervals (e.g. every three months), the portfolio undergoes a thorough review. This process is overseen by specialists in Investment Consulting. In addition, individual asset and performance reporting, as well as comprehensive tax reporting, are also included.
Advisory mandate expert
With the advisory mandate expert, the client receives direct access to specialists in Investment Consulting and thus to expert knowledge in individual asset classes. The Investment Consultants provide valuable investment information first-hand, on a timely basis. Together, individual trading strategies, for example to hedge against market risks, are developed and implemented. At the request of the client, the client advisor can take daily contact with the client. Of course this mandate also includes regular portfolio analysis and advice.