Wealth Webinar 3.0, conversations on the trends and dynamics shaping the Lives and Legacies of the Affluent and High Networth Individuals (HNIs) revolved around Insurance in wealth planning, the family office advantage, purposeful legacies, the affluent and wealthy matriarch, and estate planning in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world.
Our expert panel comprised renowned professionals and thought leaders within the wealth management field. You can view the speakers’ bio here.
Key insights from our speakers aimed at affluent individuals, families, and advisors seeking to preserve wealth, families, and legacies.
The Family Office Advantage
Family offices have been in existence since medieval times. The family office is first a business! It must understand the needs of the family it is serving. The services the family office render must be looked at in details, reviewed regularly to ensure that it is meeting the ever-changing needs of the family it caters to. In a family office, emotional intelligence is as important as financial intelligence. There is no one size fits all. Listen to Bilal Zein speak more about this here.
Purposeful Legacies for Families of Wealth
Asher Noor stated that a purposeful legacy is a thoughtful approach by Patriarch or Matriarch of wealthy families to leave a lasting impact beyond financial assets.
While death and taxes are inevitable, it is the lived culture and personal values communicated to the next generation that truly forms a purposeful legacy. According to Asher, a purposeful legacy starts with self-reflection and should be broken down into goals. Then the goals should be articulated to family members, and everyone knows what the family legacy will be collectively. Listen here.
Managing Addictions in Families of Wealth
When families have issues concerning spendthrift, substance abuse, or divorce, the first thing an Advisor does is to keep a lid on it so that it does not become a scandal. An advisor ringfence the news and then ringfence the assets. The authorities of some signatories might need to be revoked and some people might need to step down from the Board, where there is a family business involved. There will certainly be a need for re-organization which is another reason why advisors are important. Listen to Asher’s take here.
The Invaluable Advisor in Wealth and Family Preservation
Advisors bring the necessary subjects to the table so families can discuss and put some conditions in place. Advisors find the best way out of situations with the least possible loss. Either by foreseeing the situation and putting guards in place or by dealing with the situation when it arises. Listen to Bilal speak here.
Asher added that some advisors are good at preventing fires while some are good at fighting fires. Hence there are instances where Advisors might have to bring in experts to handle some aspects of the family challenges, they are not proficient to deal. Listen here.
Women as Creators and Inheritors of Significant Wealth
Sabila Din discussed the difference between women with wealth and women in wealth. For women with wealth, she said that it is recognized in their skills and how they contribute to legacy building. But there is a need to increase their financial awareness. This is because their financial awareness gives them the voice. Then the help of the Patriarch or the person controlling the family is needed to enable the women to have a voice and be part of the family council or advisory board. Women tend to adopt a more holistic approach, so when it comes to financial planning and legacy building, they instinctively think about wealth for themselves, their children, the community. They pay attention to detail and are more collaborative, an important trait when dealing with multigenerational wealth planning. Women, however, need to recognize these strengths and how to leverage them. And this can be done with the help of advisors or by women coming together to have these discussions.
For women in wealth, there is quite a number of women entering the ultra wealthy space. There are also positive statistics about women on Boards and the value it adds to company performances. There is also a need to build a pipeline of women leaders to promote the next generation of women in the corporate world so they become leaders themselves. In all of these, an enabling environment is necessary, hence financial advisors need to come up with innovative ideas to lend to women so they can be wealth creators. Listen to Sabila here.
Biases against Women
Sabila itemized nine (9) biases women face in wealth which includes:
- Gender pay gap;
- Investment bias by financial advisors thereby causing a gap in wealth creation;
- Caregiving responsibilities when they have to take time off work to be with family and that impacts wealth;
- Underrepresentation in the financial services, legacy and estate planning; they may face challenges in estate planning due to gender roles;
- Risk aversion (women are more risk averse and may not utilize portfolio);
- Cultural and societal norms;
- Access to resources, particularly when it comes to creation of wealth; and
- Access to finance, network and new market.
It is therefore important for everyone, within the family as well as Advisors to help women navigate these challenges. You can listen to Sabila speak here.
The Subtle Power of Women in Families of Wealth
Bilal Zein noted that historically the women in families of wealth in some cultures had power although it was soft and unwritten. It was up to the women to take up space if they chose or just be heard and seen without really needing to be legally mentioned in any document. He spoke about few examples in Saudi Arabia, describing two families where they had Male leadership, but the Grand mothers had all the power and was always sought for approval and consent before any action concerning the family and its assets are undertaken. Hence to deal with family assets, they had to go and get the grandmas’ blessing although the grandmas had no explicit executing Authority.
You can listen here.
While Sabila agreed with Bilal and Asher on the soft power women have always had, she added that it was different questions if women could exercise the soft power they had and if they were allowed to exercise it. And it is up to women to increase their self-awareness to be able to increase their soft power to create the legacy of wealth. You can listen to more here.
The Role of Insurance in Wealth Planning
Rita Tong outlined how life insurance benefits affluent families, providing liquidity, portfolio security, and asset equalization during wealth transfer. She emphasized its foundational role in financial planning, dispelling misconceptions about rigid policies and highlighting their flexibility. Describing Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI), she mentioned how it streamlines asset consolidation across jurisdictions and facilitates succession planning by ensuring smooth asset transfer to beneficiaries or trusts. A globally recognized legal structure, PPLI can hold a diversified range of investment vehicles, including stocks and mutual funds, ETF’s and bonds quoted on recognized Stock Exchange and cash holdings of major currencies as well. Clients can transfer their assets into the PPLI for consolidation rather than placing in multiple banks or investment accounts in various jurisdictions. PPLI facilitates succession planning as client can use beneficiary nomination or trust to pass on their asset smoothly upon death without delay. Wealth distribution can be kept confidential as well. PPLI can also simplify the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) reporting as only a policy value is reported rather than individual holdings. All the dividends, interests, withdrawals are not required to be reported unlike in financial institutions. PPLI therefore preserves privacy and being CRS compliant at the same time. Overall, she stressed insurance’s crucial role in ensuring financial security and peace of mind for families. You can listen here.
The Role of Communication in Family Dynamics
Anbern Guarrine discussed conflict in families emphasizing that conflict is inevitable whenever people come together due to differing opinions and values adding that behind every conflict are the values each party is trying to protect.
Anbern believes that allowing people to express why certain things are important to them and understanding each other’s perspectives can often reduce conflict while also noting that not all conflicts need to be resolved, especially in cases like political differences where understanding the other side’s perspective may be sufficient. However, in certain situations like deciding whether to have a prenuptial agreement, reaching an agreement becomes necessary for moving forward. She mentioned that emphasizing Communication and need for communication in families of wealth ia required to understand patterns of conflict within families and anticipate future conflicts.
Anbern is an advocate for Fun and Play as bonding and connection tools within families, noting that it is important for overall health and mental well-being of family members. Hence when there is conflict, given that there is fun and play as a culture in the family, it is easier to navigate situations of conflict. You just know that you have a disconnect and somehow you find a way to connect again. Listen to Anbern here.
You can watch the full recording of the Webinar here.
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