Many of our clients choose to stay with us over the years – through lifetimes and sometimes even generations. David Pugh explores why we value trust as the cornerstone of all of our client relationships:
Prompted by an article by Herman Brodie, a former algorithmic trader for an investment bank, we’ve been considering how important trust is to us – and the role it plays in you choosing to work with us rather than another financial planning firm.
The importance of chemistry
It’s no surprise – and indeed it is our own experience – that the main reasons why people choose to work with their preferred firm is down to so called ‘soft factors’. These include things such as the ‘credibility’ of the financial planner, the consistency of approach, the clarity in decision making, the usefulness of the reports and meetings or, quite simply, ‘the kind of people they are’. These elements far outweigh ‘hard factors’ (things like investment performance, fees and the CV of the financial planner). Ultimately it’s all down to one of the most intangible factors which make up any good relationship – the chemistry.
When a potential client approaches us we’ve always tried to enable this chemistry to be found naturally. And in working with British expatriates around the world logistics do sometimes play their part! Despite this we always offer an initial, short meeting – managed through a busy tour programme which sees our advisers regularly travelling to a number of areas around the world. Together with our network of offices, which offer dedicated meeting spaces, and the use of new technology like video conferencing, we have the ability to meet anywhere, any time. And in turn you then have the opportunity to size us up and get a feel for what the relationship is going to be like.
Integrity vs competence
Nevertheless trust is a hard concept to grasp. In a nutshell we feel it’s the balance of integrity and capability – can we act professionally and with your interests front and centre in every aspect of what we do? Only then can we deliver that careful equilibrium which results in you feeling confident in what we do and how we do it.
Once trust has developed there are advantages for all of us. You can feel reassured – trust reduces the perception of risk, and levels of anxiety. Financial decisions can then be taken logically and rationally. Indeed over-anxiety can create rash decisions, often leading to a situation where the wrong option is chosen at the wrong time. Such as choosing to sell a portfolio just after investment markets have gone down…
As we’ve seen over the years increased trust means you are likely to work with us over the long-term. Jumping from one financial advisor to another does not bring any great advantages; just costs. Enabling a long-term client/adviser relationship allows trust to truly develop on both sides. We enjoy supporting this at every level – and are proud that our clients can speak honestly to their advisers and be completely transparent about what they really want to achieve.
David Pugh, Global Head of Sales and Marketing