Client Affairs

Helping Clients Look for a Career Change

Emma Rees 8 January 2008

Helping Clients Look for a Career Change

The wealthy increasingly consider their working lives as a means to an end and look to a second career or early retirement from their chosen profession. Only the minority intend to remain in their current occupation until pensionable age.

The wealthy increasingly consider their working lives as a means to an end and look to a second career or early retirement from their chosen profession. Only the minority intend to remain in their current occupation until pensionable age. All those but the exceptionally wealthy looking to make a career or lifestyle change need to think seriously about how they make the leap, as well as the potential impact on their wealth. Increasingly specialist firms are working with private banks and wealth managers to help facilitate the process of helping senior executives to further or change their careers: "Some of our clients are at an interesting crossroads in their lives and careers when they come to us, having already had successful careers and amassed substantial wealth", says Martin Andrew from Close Wealth Management Group. "When making a big career change people are often interested in talking to a non-sales led wealth management service about how to make the most of the money they've earned". Mr Andrew sees more and more wealthy individuals looking for broad based wealth and financial advice, through a holistic structure, to enhance the wealth they've got: "We're considering how to expand our financial planning capacity to meet this growing demand", he says. Mark Worrall, managing director of Route Group, a wealth management firm that focuses on high earning City professionals, believes that the current generation are interested in what they will do with their lives after the City and that the wealth management industry will become more focused on how people want to live their lives: “Today, and for the new generation of high-earning City professionals, focused on creating their own wealth, it is not an uncommonly held view that their employment is a short term means to an end, that end being a second career of some description.” “The majority of City professionals have no intention of remaining in their current occupation until pensionable age”, continues Mr Worrall. “The views expressed through research we have conducted with Scorpio Partnership suggest a change in positioning towards the aspirational rather than a change in the financial planning process, which is already deeply rooted in client goals. Our clients are looking to see how we can develop our proposition as wealth managers and financial planners around life goals and aspirations. For financial planners it means understanding what our clients are trying to do with their lives, not simply ‘how much’ they need.” Whilst, according to Mr Worrall, Route’s clients are more likely to search themselves for new outlets for their skills or ambitions, other wealthy individuals look for third-party support in enhancing or changing their career. AGM Transitions offers business leaders imaginative and deliverable ways to further their careers, aims and ambitions. It works closely with private banks and wealth managers to help clients to establish their financial position before they embark on a life change: “Our clients are business leaders, politicians, academics, thought leaders and entrepreneurs," says Stephen Mansbridge, managing director of AGM Transitions. "What they have in common is that they are highly successful and have held roles at board level or equivalent. We provide them with means of moving from a place they don’t want to be and to a place they do, leveraging connectivity between headhunters, investors and corporates, as well as to alumni and wider networks, in an entirely bespoke way. We are effectively a conduit and sometimes provide assistance at the request of private banks who have clients who are looking to make a change in their life and have things they want to resolve in their career.” The services that AGM provide include helping someone to work out exactly what they want to do and then what they realistically can do, using a visual mapping process which looks at how clients spend their waking time currently and how they would like this to look in the future. Clients are then encouraged to consider the two or three key changes that would enable them to accommodate their wishes, along with the one key thing work wise that their current employer pays them for, plus those talents that they currently use less than they would like. In addition to helping clients find new corporate roles, AGM has also helped people who have political ambitions to contact the right people and build a powerbase fast, as well as helping them achieve higher office in their own organisations. It can also assist in finding new roles for senior people as a result of a merger or acquisition, or source suitable non-executive directorships for clients that have retired or sold a business. AGM works with a number of leading wealth management organisations including Coutts, Lloyds TSB and Close Brothers. Nick Salisbury a senior partner of J2, affiliated to St. James's Place Wealth Management, says that there are distinct synergies between and resonances with the approach and methodologies of his company and that of AGM. Both explore with their clients what is important to the client in terms of their personal values and objectives: “For AGM this will help in giving direction and validity to career choices, for J2 it gives guidance to and informs the attainment of financial and lifestyle objectives”, says Mr Salisbury. ”Like most people, many J2 clients have as one of their objectives ‘financial freedom’. This tends to be targeted at an age where most would still want to be working at something more personally ‘spiritually’ and less ‘economically’ rewarding than their current career, although they are not certain what the latter might be. AGM can help them explore what future, more rewarding pursuits might be available to them and give them the added confidence to follow their dreams, in turn leading to a more fulfilled life.” According to Mr Salisbury, J2 have worked with AGM clients to help them gain an understanding of the financial viability of their lifestyle objectives and options, and the financial impact of different choices they might make. This helps people to make more informed decisions about their future direction. Once having made such decisions, J2 have been able to put together and implement detailed financial strategies to put the client's decisions into practice. AGM have found that whilst money is not a primary objective and clients rather want to spend their time better and achieve personal aims, most tend to want to be appropriately rewarded for what they do. Sometimes it is done for a fee, but AGM says that often the most successful placements are those it does for free: “What goes around comes around, and very often a favour reaps benefits, concludes Mr Mansbridge.

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