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In the financial services industry, one of the fastest growing careers is that of the Wealth Managers. Wealth Managers Private Bankers Relationship Managers or Wealth Planners are the different names for the same professionals who work in both junior and senior capacities within a firm.

Before we understand the Job Profile of a Typical Wealth Manager let us understand:

What is Wealth Management?

Wealth Management is a professional service which is the combination of financial/investment advice, accounting/tax services, and legal/estate planning for one fee. In General Wealth Management is much more than Investment Management as it encompasses all parts of a person’s financial life.

To simplify we can say that Wealth Management combines both Financial Planning and specialized financial services including personal retail banking, estate planning (intergenerational wealth transfer) , legal and tax advice and investment management services.

The Goal of Wealth Management is three pronged it strives to:
  • Protect Wealth
  • Enhance Wealth
  • Transfer Wealth to Next Generation

Wealth Management Clients:

One must already have accumulated some amount of wealth to Qualify as a “Wealth Management Client” which varies from institution to institution but typically starts with a net-worth of USD 20 Million.

Wealth Management clients are highly sought after by financial institutions and financial service companies. Many banks that combine traditional banking and wealth management services have specialized sales and service teams to specifically cater to wealth management clients.

How to Become a Wealth Manager?

Several universities offer wealth-management education for either the professionals who advise private investors or private investors themselves who have substantial wealth. The standards and accrediting organization the American Academy of Financial Management (AAFM, later rebranded as the Global Academy of Financial and Management or GAFM) offered the first such program for professionals (the CWM Chartered Wealth Manager US Trademarked Program). Currently there are more than 50,000 Chartered Wealth Managers in more than 150+ Countries.

Who Provides Wealth Management Services?

Wealth management can be provided by large corporate entities, independent financial advisers or multi-licensed portfolio managers who design services to focus on high-net-worth clients. Large banks and large brokerage houses create segmentation marketing-strategies to sell both proprietary and non-proprietary products and services to investors designated as potential high-net-worth clients. Independent wealth-managers use their experience in estate planning, risk management, and their affiliations with tax and legal specialists, to manage the diverse holdings of high-net-worth clients. Banks and brokerage firms use advisory talent-pools to aggregate these same services.

Top Wealth Management Organizations Globally
Credit Suisse
Deutsche Bank
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
BNP Paribas
Goldman Sachs

Outlook for the Wealth Management Industry

World Wealth Report 2013

The 2013 World Wealth Report, released in June 2013, showed that despite the turbulence of the global economy, particularly in the Eurozone, both the population and wealth of global HNWIs reached significant new highs in 2012. Even though the year got off to a shaky start, HNWIs ultimately benefitted from strong market returns in spite of sluggish global GDP growth. The report was widely welcomed as good news for the private wealth management sector.

The survey represents one of the largest and most in-depth surveys of high net worth individuals ever conducted, surveying more than 4,400 HNWIs across 21 major wealth markets.

Key findings included:
  • In Q1, 2013, around 61% of HNWIs said they have trust and confidence in their wealth managers and firms, an increase of roughly four and three percentage points respectively, from 2012.
  • 75.4% of HNWIs around the globe cited confidence in their ability to generate wealth over the next year.
  • 52.6% of HNWIs gave their advisors and support staff a strong performance rating for service.
What Wealth Managers Do?

Wealth Managers follow a Wealth Management Process to give advice their clients on issues related to Wealth Enhancement, Wealth Preservation and Wealth Transfer. The Wealth Management Process consists of Building Relationships, Collecting Clients Financial and Non-Financial Data, Analysing Financial Data to find Financial Areas that require Intervention, Creating Wealth Plans for the Client that allow the Client to attain their Financial Goals.

Wealth Managers typically do the following:
  • Recommend individual investments and collections of investments, which are known as portfolios
  • Evaluate current and historical financial data of client
  • Study economic and investment trends
  • Do a SWOT Analysis of the clients Finances
  • Recommend Wealth Management Solutions for Clients Objectives
  • Create structures that facilitate the Wealth Transfer
  • Advise Clients on issues related to Tax Planning
  • Help manage domestic and cross-border wealth for clients
  • Prepare written Wealth Management recommendations called as “Wealth Plans”
  • Review and Revise Wealth Plans
Scenario of Wealth Management as a Profession
  • According to US Department of Labour the Employment of Wealth Managers is projected to grow 27 percent YOY from 2012 to 2022, one of the fastest in the Financial Services Industry. A growing range of financial products and the need for in-depth knowledge of client specific financial situation are expected to lead to strong employment growth.
  • Investment portfolios are becoming more complex, and there are more financial products available for trade. In addition, emerging markets throughout the world are providing new investment opportunities, which require expertise in geographic regions where those markets are located.
  • The continued implementation of financial regulatory reform could constrict growth in the industry, as rule-making bodies place a greater emphasis on stability. Restrictions on trading by banks may shift employment of financial analysts from investment banks to hedge funds and private equity groups.
  • According to a new study of global wealth managers by Strategy&, the prospects for wealth management have improved significantly over the last year, but new global regulations (including the battle against undeclared offshore assets), changing client behaviour, the rapid advance of digitization, and a fluid competitive landscape have permanently altered the rules of the game and raised the cost of doing business.
  • Wealth managers must learn the new rules quickly and adapt their playbook accordingly if they are to capitalize on the continued economic recovery in 2014 and 2015.
Job Prospects

Despite employment growth, strong competition is expected for these high-paying jobs. Growth in financial services should create new positions, but there are still far more people who would like to enter the occupation than there are jobs in the occupation. Having certifications like Chartered Wealth Manager ® CWM ® from a Global Body like American Academy of Financial Management USA and a graduate degree can significantly improve an applicant’s prospects.

How to Become a Wealth Manager?

Wealth Managers typically must have a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is often required for advanced positions.


Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. A number of fields of study provide appropriate preparation, including accounting, economics, finance, statistics, mathematics, and engineering. For advanced positions, employers often require a master’s in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in finance. Knowledge of Investment Products, Risk Management, Estate Planning, Taxation and Legal Structures are important

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the main licensing organization for the securities industry in USA. It requires licenses for many Wealth Advisory positions. Most of the licenses require sponsorship by an employer, so companies do not expect individuals to have these licenses before starting a job. In India there SEBI Investment Adviser Regulations has approved some programs that are essential for Wealth Managers one of the Program is Chartered Wealth Manager from AAFM the CWM Certification is also often recommended by employers and can improve the chances for advancement.


Wealth Managers typically start as Relationship Managers as they gain experience they become Wealth Managers and select few advance to become Private Bankers. The progression in the career typically involves the Client getting more sophisticated and solutions getting more complex.

Important Qualities
  • Communication Skills. Wealth Managers must explain their recommendations to clients in clear language that clients can easily understand.
  • Relationship Skills. The most important quality required by a Wealth Manager is Human Skills like Relationship Building, Rapport Creation, Trust Creation etc.
  • Analytical Skills. Wealth Manager must process a range of information in finding profitable investments.
  • Computer Skills. Wealth Managers must be adept at using software packages to analyze financial data, see trends, create portfolios, and make forecasts.
  • Decision Making Skills. Wealth Managers must provide a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell a security.
  • Detail Oriented. Wealth Managers must pay attention to details when reviewing possible investments, as small issues may have large implications for the health of an investment.

To be successful, Wealth Managers should be people oriented with sound technical skills. They must be self- motivating with a go get it attitude. Wealth Managers deal with different kinds of people on a regular basis so they must have an open mind. Moreover, people who opt for this career path must be natural problem solvers, and they must have the ability to solve problems in a timely manner.


Salaries vary quite considerably within the field of wealth management. While the mean salary for wealth managers in United States of America remains US $70,000 per annum, 10% of these professionals find themselves earning more than US $200,000.

The highest salaries are earned by those people who work independently, and not part of any company. However, these people lose out on the many non-monetary benefits that others are entitled too. These include insurance, paid vacation, easy access to credit etc. Independent wealth managers work purely on commission and bonuses, whereas employed wealth managers normally receive a monthly salary.

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