Understanding the Advisor-Client Relationship

Understanding the Advisor-Client Relationship

Bridging the Trust Divide

This whitepaper with associated webcast and podcast (requires free registration) by State Street Global Advisors and Knowledge@Wharton explores key elements of trust in the advising relationship.  Jim offers commentary on the research findings plus a down-to-earth set of recommendations about the highly-charged area of fee discussions, an area where many advisors fall short.

State Street International Re-issue

State Street Global Advisors has updated and reissued its industry-leading 2007 monograph Bridging the Trust Divide in the Australian financial planning market, with commentary by several prominent Australian advisors. Jim’s seminal work on conducting skillful fee discussions remains a core part of the conclusions and recommendations.

Client Relationships and Family Dynamics

Every interaction in wealth management can be characterized along two dimensions: the complexity of the client's technical needs and the complexity of the client's personal and family needs.  Advisors often attend mostly to the technical dimension, addressing clients' personal issues or family dynamics only when these are overly problematic. Yet, excellent wealth management requires advisors to have a solid foundation in client relationship skills as well as good basic knowledge of family-dynamics situations that commonly arise with wealth.

In an ongoing series of comprehensive articles, Jim Grubman and colleague Dennis Jaffe outline new ways to conceptualize, assess, and implement client-relationship skills and services in integrated family-office-level wealth management. 

Key Elements in the Client Relationship

Discussing your investment management fees with clients has never been easy, but it’s essential to maintaining productive, trusting, long-term client relationships. That’s especially true in today’s post-recession world where consumers of financial advice are wary of investment professionals and cautious about their own spending.

Encouraging Clients about Inheritance Conversations

Many estate plans and wealth transfers fail, not because of technical problems with their design but because family dynamics and communication problems get in the way. It is crucial for beneficiaries to be ready to receive wealth transfers. Otherwise, the best-laid inheritance plans of wealth creators and their attorneys will not succeed. This article discuss these issues for both advisors and clients.

Working With Overspending Clients

Most financial advisors find that overspending clients represent some of the most frustrating situations in their work.  Time spent with these clients is often ineffective and ultimately unsuccessful.  This article provides an overview of addictive-type overspending and what advisors can do to help it.

Core Techniques

In the Journal of Financial Planning, Jim Grubman and Dennis Jaffe gather in one place the fundamental communication skills needed by all levels of financial advisors. These skills are part of the "foundational" abilities necessary for all client interactions as described in their article "Client Relationships and Family Dynamics: Competencies and Services Necessary for Truly Integrated Wealth Management," Journal of Wealth Management, Summer 2010.