leaders debate wealth • women and investing • the great wealth transfer • PTCs explained • lasting powers of attorney
the impact of changing wealth holder priorities
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THE WEALTH SECTOR is on a journey of change. After a relatively stable period, which has seen global wealth accelerate alongside a relatively steady financial and economic outlook, wealth holders – and those who manage and invest their wealth – suddenly face uncertain terrain. And what comes with uncertain terrain is risk.
In this special Wealth edition of Businesslife, we explore the sector’s changing outlook –from a shift in who holds the world’s wealth, to a more turbulent investment market built on surging interest rates, mixed stock market projections and a crypto market downturn.
To begin our exploration of these – and other – wealth-related trends and disruptors, we brought together five high-profile Channel Islands leaders to debate the future of wealth.
In this first of a new series of Leaders Debate roundtable discussions (starting on page 12), we heard that there is no clear, single disruptor dominating leaders’ minds at present. Instead, there is a plethora of influencing factors.
One of our leaders highlighted client demand for hyper-personalisation as a mostpressing trend, for example, while another cited inflation as the single biggest challenge right now. Another felt that deglobalisation, along with the potential for trade friction to drive up costs, was the dominant issue of the moment, while another raised the changing demographic among wealth holders; and another transparency.
One significant trend highlighted in our Leaders Debate – and one which we explore in greater detail elsewhere in this issue – is the Great Wealth Transfer.
It’s estimated that, over the next 25 years, roughly $15trn will be transferred from one generation to the next.
The issue for wealth managers is that the recipients of this wealth will have differing outlooks, they will be increasingly global and they will also be looking to find meaning in the way they use and manage their wealth.
This throws up several challenges. One is an issue of retention as many next gen wealth holders look to break away from their families’ traditional ways of doing things.
Another is understanding their quest for faster, more seamless activities – all alongside a desire to invest with purpose and meaning.
“Millennials have grown up as digital natives – and advisers must adopt digital capabilities and solutions to support service
delivery, strengthen resilience and drive efficiencies if they are to retain next gen clients,” our article on page 28 finds.
“Those in the next generation are accustomed to ultra-efficient processes. When a client can open a bank account by clicking an app, it creates an expectation that other financial services can be accessed as quickly and simply.
“It is imperative that wealth advisers move with the times and adapt to changing preferences and needs. This next generation is known to have a more environmentally conscious outlook, being driven by a growing interest in societal and ecological concerns. They care about diversity and inclusion, and this plays out in their business decisions.”
CHANGE IS GOOD
While change can cause instability, not all change is bad. As we also find out in this issue, the changing wealth market will also create great opportunities for many.
In our article starting on page 48, for example, we explore the staple investing areas in the new wealth world. Our feature finds that, while much of the tech sector is currently taking a battering on the jobs front and in terms of job losses and market valuations, disruptive and innovative tech players in particular continue to show strong returns. Similarly, we find that firms helping the global transition to net zero are performing well – as are those operating in niche areas such as plant-based food and other ‘beyond meat’ businesses.
Elsewhere in this edition, we explore what’s driving CFOs’ decision-making when it comes to strategies (starting on page 24). The article finds that, towards the end of a turbulent 2022, CFOs’ views on risk shifted slightly, with their worries around inflation and energy easing slightly.
Regardless, we found that CFOs maintained a cautious strategic stance in the fourth quarter of 22, with the weakest focus on expansionary strategies in two and a half years and the strongest focus on defensive strategies in two years.
That’s hardly surprising given some of the shifts, changes and uncertainties highlighted in this issue. What is for sure, however, is that those steering the wealth sector are in for an interesting ride in the coming years. nJon Watkins is Editor-in-Chief of Businesslife
there is no clear, single disruptor dominating leaders’ minds at present. Instead, there is a plethora of influencing factors
CEO, CHAMELEON GROUP
Carl Methven carl.methven@blglobal.
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6 News Developments in Jersey and Guernsey
10 Appointments Senior job changes across the islands
Five Channel Islands business leaders discuss the big issues facing wealth players today
20 female wealth
More and more wealth is being held by women – so how should finance firms adapt to suit the needs of this client base?
How CFOs and investment managers are reassessing their plans in the wake of global economic upheaval and rising inflation
28 wealth management
As the world’s wealth transfers from Baby Boomers to Millennials, opportunities and challenges are changing
36 wealth for all
High-net-worths have ruled the investment
David investigates what the transition of a huge swathe of the world’s wealth to a new generation might mean for investment and wealth management patterns.
With much of that wealth moving to women for the first time, Sophie explores how wealth managers and other service providers can better engage female clients.
world for decades but financial services firms are wising up to the value of lesser investors
42 family offices
Family offices often entrust their complex affairs to private trust companies – but what are PTCs?
Investor confidence has been undermined by the global disruption of recent years – so where’s the money going now?
54 future planning
40% of adults have a will but less than 1% have a lasting power of attorney. We hear why this must change
The knowledge Coal, chatbots, how to manage meetings, and we meet Alex Noel of Suntera Global and Klaus Schwab of the WEF
David, meanwhile, looks at what’s driving the increasing use of private trust companies for family office structures in the Channel Islands –and exactly how they work.
And, as wealth products and service become more available to the wider public, Alex asks whether a level of financial education is needed to support their uptake.
in the NEWS
NATURAL CAPITAL UPDATE
The Guernsey Financial Services Commission has updated its Natural Capital Fund framework to reflect the COP15 agreement made in December to guide global action to halt and reverse nature loss.
The Commission launched its Natural Capital Fund framework in September last year as part of the Guernsey Sustainable Funds Regime. To ensure it reflects the recent agreement between 188 governments, the Commission has updated the framework to reference the KunmingMontreal Convention on Biodiversity Global Biodiversity Framework.
The newly agreed framework centres on the 30 by 30 target to achieve the effective conservation and management of at least 30% of the world’s land, coastal areas and oceans, and restore 30% of terrestrial and marine ecosystems by 2030.
JERSEY FUND REPORT
The 28th annual Monterey Jersey Fund Report showed fund assets serviced in Jersey decreased from $605.4bn in 2021 to $585.2bn at the end of June 2022, down 3.3% – but an increase of 3.5% in sterling terms compared with 2021.
The number of serviced schemes fell to 1,618, down 3.2%, and the total number of sub-funds recorded was also down to 2,137, a 2.5% fall.
Private equity/venture capital funds, still the most popular products, remained the key drivers to the Jersey fund market, accounting for $415.9bn of assets for domiciled
and non-domiciled funds and 1,048 funds and sub-funds.
Property/real estate funds ranked second with $72.2bn and a total of 323 funds.
For new products, of domiciled and non-domiciled funds, there were more than 212 newly launched and newly serviced sub-funds in the period, reaching $49.3bn. Of these, more than 110 were private equity/venture capital products totalling $44.1bn.
For the domiciled market share, more than 168 Jersey funds and sub-funds were launched/reported during the year, totalling $43.6bn of assets.
Turning to service providers, among fund management companies of domiciled and non-domiciled schemes, SoftBank held first place with assets totalling $77.9bn, followed by CVC Capital Partners ($72.7bn) and ARDIAN ($54.3bn).
For fund administration services across domiciled and non-domiciled funds, Aztec Group, with $213.5bn in assets, maintained the largest market share, followed by Saltgate ($75.7bn) and R&H Fund Services ($28bn).
Among transfer agents, Aztec Group also held its lead, with total net assets of $208bn. Second and third remained unchanged with Computershare Investor Services ($27.3bn) and Intertrust ($23bn).
BNP Paribas was again the largest custodian by assets with $18.1bn, followed by Sanne Trustee Services ($10.5bn) and Apex Group ($9.7bn).
As for legal firms for serviced and distributed funds, Mourant came top, advising on 939 funds, followed by Carey Olsen (847) and Ogier (593). For domiciled funds, Carey Olsen held first place for the third year, with 544 Jersey funds, ▼
Mourant has advised growth capital firm Highland Europe on its fifth fund, which closed on 19 January after raising €1bn. This fund adds to Highland Europe’s strategy of supporting European founder-led technology and software companies. In total, Highland Europe has raised €2.75bn, which has been invested in a wide range of companies. The transaction was led by Ben Robins, Partner and Global Practice Leader of the Mourant Investment Funds team, working alongside Jersey Investment Funds team members Roisin Cullinane, Sarah Burns and Daniel Hayden. They worked with lead counsel Kirkland & Ellis and fund administrator Aztec on the fundraising.
The Jersey investment funds team from Carey Olsen has advised multi-family office and property investment firm JR Capital on the launch of logistics fund MLI UK Value Add. The five-year life fund expects to target industrial, warehousing and urban logistics assets in the UK. It was launched jointly by JR Capital and property developer Chancerygate. The fund, which has a target of £150m, recently held a £40m first close backed by JR Capital’s Middle East private and institutional client base. The first investment is a £7.4m acquisition in Carlisle. The Carey Olsen team advising on the Jersey-related corporate and regulatory aspects of the deal was led by Partner Dan O’Connor, supported by Senior Associate Arindam Madhuryya and Associate Devon Clarke.
Carey Olsen’s investment funds team in Jersey has also advised Hollyport Capital on the launch and final close of its Secondary Opportunities VIII Fund. The fund, structured as a Jersey Expert Fund, closed with commitments of $2.2bn. Working with lead onshore counsel Proskauer Rose, Carey Olsen advised on all Jersey-related aspects of the establishment, regulation and closing of the fund. The team was led by Partner James Mulholland, assisted by Senior Associate Arindam Madhuryya.
Bedell Cristin, acting alongside DLA Piper UK, has advised Harrison Street on the sale of four purpose-built student accommodation assets to City Developments. The transaction comprises four such assets in Canterbury, Birmingham, Coventry and Leeds, with a total of 1,657 beds. The assets were individually developed by Harrison Street European Property Partners II alongside two joint venture partners –Linkcity (the property development arm of Bouygues UK) and Crosslane Property Group – and packaged in a portfolio for sale. The portfolio produced a gross purchase price of £185m, which represents 33% more than cost basis. The Bedell Cristin team was led by Partner Bruce Scott, working with Senior Associate Daniel McAviney. n
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MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Hawksford has acquired Netherlands-based corporate services and financial management company ACT Management Services. All members of the ACT team will remain, with Managing Partners Robbert Frassino and Justin Verbond continuing to lead in Amsterdam during the transitionary period. The business will be referred to as ‘ACT – part of Hawksford’ until fully rebranded to Hawksford later this year.
Guernsey civil engineering contractor Geomarine Guernsey has completed its management buyout. The existing executive team of Geomarine in Guernsey – MD Tom Whitmore, Operations Director Gary Stevenson and Commercial Director Matt Brooks – have purchased a majority stake in the company.
Jersey private equity business Rialto Investment Partners has acquired advertising business Signtech and its specialist outdoor advertising arm Shooht. Signtech and Shooht will not rebrand as a result of the acquisition and all staff will remain with the company, led by MD Sean Guegan. Carey Olsen acted as lead counsel on the deal, led by Jersey Partner James Wilmott.
Apex Group has acquired fund administration software business Pacific Fund Systems (PFS) from its co-founders and Pollen Street Capital. Founded in 1999, PFS supports investment fund clients in the administration of open and closed ended funds. Pollen Street first invested in PFS in December 2020 and this is the first exit for its Fund IV. Deutsche Bank advised Apex on the deal, with Arma Partners as financial adviser to PFS. Kirkland & Ellis International acted as legal adviser to Apex Group; Proskauer Rose to PFS.
In addition, Apex Group has completed its acquisition of the fund services and third-party management company business of Maitland International Holdings. The deal adds $200bn of assets under administration and $17bn of assets under management to Apex Group. Maitland’s 570 staff will join the group in Johannesburg. For Apex, Macquarie was financial adviser, with Kirkland & Ellis as legal counsel. For Maitland, Nomura acted as financial adviser, with McDermott, Will & Emery legal counsel.
IQ-EQ has acquired Laven Compliance, a UK and US-based provider of regulatory compliance, application support and operational due diligence services for financial services clients. The deal does not involve any other part of the Laven Group. The Laven Compliance business will operate under the IQ-EQ brand. Raven has said the sale will allow it to focus on Laven Hosting, the regulatory hosting umbrella based in the UK. n
ahead of Mourant (392) and Ogier (326).
Among auditors of serviced funds, PwC was once again the largest auditor with 609 funds, ahead of KPMG (404). EY took a surprise third place (256) ahead of Deloitte (161).
In terms of assets, PwC also led, with $154.2bn, followed by Deloitte and EY.
LLC LAUNCH FOR US FUNDS
Jersey Finance has welcomed the introduction of Limited Liability Company (LLC) legislation, which is anticipated to significantly enhance the island’s ability to support US alternative fund managers.
The law, which came into force on 14 February, adds a structure to Jersey’s private fund vehicles that is intended to be familiar to US private equity, venture capital and other alternative fund professionals.
With a simple registration process and flexible governance requirements, the Jersey LLC will have a separate legal personality and can be classed as a ‘body corporate’.
It is expected to offer opportunities for issuing securities, as a manager vehicle and as a fund entity in conjunction with the Jersey Private Fund regime.
The structure also provides certainty for US managers looking to fundraise in the EU, with the Jersey LLC able to market into Europe under the Alternative Fund Managers Directive third-country private placement rules.
SOCIAL MEDIA STUDY
PR firm Orchard has released results from a study into how communications businesses in Guernsey and Jersey are using social media. It found that 32% of small and medium-sized businesses are on TikTok.
Jo Meerveld, Head of Social at Orchard, said: “More channels are coming into the
corporate communications mix, with businesses using YouTube, TikTok and Pinterest. The challenge for small teams is how demand for more content on more channels is going to be met in-house.”
Video usage continues to grow, with 92% of respondents saying video is in their social media strategy for this year.
Meanwhile, 46% said they are focusing more on shortform video, although long-form uptake is growing worldwide. According to Adweek, 80% of short videos drive less than a third of total engagement.
Influencers are not widely used in businesses’ content mix, the study found – 86% of respondents said they are not using influencers or content creators despite 75% of Millennials following influencers on social media, according to Morning Consult.
Finally, only 36% of respondents said they were using an agency for their social media strategy and 44% don’t have or aren’t sure if they have a social media policy.
GUERNSEY ELECTRIC VANS
Guernsey Post and Evie have launched an electric van service.
Vans owned by Guernsey Post have been fitted with technology supplied by Evie to make it possible to hire an electric van by the hour using the Evie Shared Mobility app.
Initially there will be three electric vans made available by Guernsey Post for hire. The fleet may be expanded depending on demand. n
Proud to call Jersey home
With a proven track record of selling the finest homes on the island, the team at Savills Jersey has a wealth of experience that puts them streets ahead of the competition.
Offering astute and trusted advice based on personal insight and first-hand experience, the recently expanded residential sales team at Savills Jersey has a detailed knowledge of the island’s property market that ensures the very best results for our clients.
From exquisite coastal retreats and rural hideaways, to leafy family homes and cosmopolitan town houses – we know your area because it’s our area too.
A close connection to London and our international network means that Savills remains the only Channel Islands estate agency with a truly global reach – and our experts will be with you every step of the way to make your property dreams a reality.
Whether you’re buying or selling, our guidance is always tailored and transparent and our strong market knowledge guarantees service of the highest calibre.
Meet the TeamGeri O’Brien Head of Office
A strong advocate for building trusted and personal relationships with her clients, Geri started her property career in 2008. Her impressive local knowledge and extensive property portfolio attracts a global clientele – allowing her to deliver the very best results for her clients. Commenting on the recent team changes she said: “It’s a very exciting time for Savills Jersey. We are always keen to attract and retain top talent and the new appointments ensure the evolution of our team and that we continue to offer the best possible service.”
Debbie has over 18 years of experience in the real estate industry. Born and raised in Jersey, she has impressive knowledge of the island and the local market. She prides herself on providing impeccable service and has built a strong reputation helping numerous clients find their dream home.Sophie A’Court Negotiator
Jersey born and raised, Sophie grew up in St Ouen and has worked in the property industry since 2018. Previously in financial services, Sophie has a passion for helping both buyers and sellers and providing a high level of customer service. “I’m proud to call Jersey my home. You’re always within easy reach of a beautiful beach and I love the sense of safety on the island, making it a great place for families and people of all ages,” she says.
With over five years of experience in the industry, Victoria has a wealth of knowledge in all areas of the market and prides herself on delivering impeccable service. When not at work she can often be found taking her dogs for walks around Jersey’s coastal paths. “Purchasing a property is often one of the biggest decisions anyone will make, so it’s incredibly important to ensure the experience is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible,” Victoria says.
Paulina joined Savills in 2022 after various roles in customer services and administration, including working at a top 100 UK law firm. She ensures the smooth running of the office and is a vital source of support for the team. “My favourite thing about the island is the beautiful country lanes and running routes,” she said.
Nicole joined Savills in 2022 after five years working in the financial sector providing administration services to high net worth individuals. She works closely with our residential agents – providing assistance to the team and ensuring a professional and friendly service every time.Debbie Le Brun Senior Negotiator Nicole Pearson Property Administrator Victoria Markland Negotiator
David Eacott has joined the Jersey Financial Services Commission as Executive Director of Supervision, overseeing the regulation of Jersey’s financial services and ensuring regulated businesses and individuals meet their legal and regulatory obligations. David has for the past three years served as Head of Banking Supervision at the Malta Financial Services Authority. Prior to this, he spent more than 22 years with the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority. David was the UK’s Permanent Representative to the EU during the last UK EU presidency, helping to lead negotiations on banking capital.
Maples and Calder, the Maples Group’s law firm, has recruited David Allen as a Corporate Partner in its Jersey practice. With more than 20 years’ experience in Jersey and the UK, David focuses on corporate finance, particularly AIM, main market and US listings of Jersey companies. He also advises on mergers and acquisitions and general corporate issues, especially Jersey schemes of arrangement. David joins Maples after 14 years with Carey Olsen, latterly as Counsel, and he qualified as a Jersey Advocate in 2014. He started his career in 2001 as an English solicitor in the London office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
JTC has confirmed Dean Blackburn as Group Head of Institutional Client Services (ICS) in Jersey – he has held it in an interim capacity since October. Dean joined JTC in 2019 as Group Director in the CEO office, then became COO. He was promoted to JTC’s group holdings board in 2021 and has driven innovation and growth strategies across the ICS and Private Client Services divisions. With more than 30 years’ experience, Dean has worked in the UK, Channel Islands, Asia, South Africa and UAE. He started his career with NatWest in 1990 and went on to spent 18 years with HSBC.
Suntera Global has appointed Angela Morris as Head of Corporate, Jersey. Angela joined Suntera in 2018, most recently serving as a Director in its private wealth division. She has more than 20 years’ experience in cross-border financial services in Jersey, having held senior roles for Capita Asset Services, SMP Helm Trust Company and Link Asset Services. She has worked with corporate clients and high-net-worth families. In her new role, Angela and her team will focus on the corporate services business, working across Suntera’s global network to provide administration and governance services for corporate clients.
Ed Hawthorne has joined Stonehage Fleming Dealing and Treasury Services (Jersey) as a Director. Ed has more than 15 years’ experience in finance and treasury operations and dealing. He joins from Atrium European Real Estate, where he has been Group Head of Treasury for the past three years. Prior to this, Ed was Senior Treasury Manager at CPA Global in Jersey. His earlier London-based career included four years with MatchesFashion.com and three with Travel Republic. Ed takes over from Graeme Gill, who is stepping down as Head of Treasury Services in April to take a senor relationship manager role in the firm.
Praxis has promoted Jo Abbott to Client Services Director in the Jersey office. Jo joined Praxis a year ago, bringing 25 years’ experience to the firm. Prior to moving to the company, she spent a year as a Senior Manager at IQ-EQ, having spent the previous 20 years with Lutea Trustees. Jo’s career began in 1994 with HSBC in Jersey and she went on to spend a further two years in trust roles with RBS . In her new position, Jo will manage a private client team responsible for administrating a variety of structures including trust, corporate and family office.
Advocate Nick Marshall has become a Partner at Preston Legal. Nick joined the firm in July 2020 and advises clients on a wide range of trust and corporate matters locally and internationally. Before moving offshore, Nick was a Partner with various law firms in Manchester, advising on a wide variety of corporate and sports law matters, including for Premier League football clubs. Prior to joining Preston Legal, he spent three years with Collas Crill in Jersey as a Senior Associate. Nick has also for the past three years acted as a consultant to Londonbased music and entertainment law firm Statham Gill Davies.
Redwood Group has promoted Matthew Journeaux (pictured) to Managing Director in Jersey and Tracy Bisson to Head of Compliance in Guernsey. Matthew joined last year as a Senior Consultant and will be responsible for all aspects of business development, managing a team of finance specialists and overseeing client services activity. Before joining Redwood he spent four years as an Assistant Manager at Highvern. Tracy has been with Redwood Group for two and a half years as a Senior Consultant. Her early career included 10 years with SG Hombres Bank and nine with Societe General Private Banking.
Bedell Cristin has appointed John Scanlan as a Partner in its Guernsey financial services team. A Guernsey Advocate, John trained at the London office of City-based law firm Simmons & Simmons, where he qualified into the corporate group in 2008. He worked for the firm’s corporate team in the Middle East for several years before moving to Guernsey to take a senior position at Carey Olsen. He has spent the past eight years there as Senior Associate. John has advised on corporate transactions including M&A, private equity, investment funds, joint ventures and restructurings.
Accuro has recruited Katrina Williams as a Client Service Director in Jersey. Katrina joins the firm after 15 years with fiduciary services provider R&H Jersey, where she was promoted to Partner in 2021. While at R&H Katrina focused on servicing the estate planning and structuring needs of ultrahigh-net-worth international private clients and families, dealing with UK-resident and non-domiciliary planning and structures with US connections. Katrina has worked with multiple asset classes and high-value complex and mature structures, including generational transition. She spent her early career in an audit role with KPMG in London.
Butterfield has appointed Richard Saunders (pictured) as Managing Director of Jersey in addition to his current role as Managing Director of the Channel Islands and UK. Richard, who has served as Managing Director of Guernsey since 2015, takes over responsibility for Jersey from Noel McLaughlin. Meanwhile, Alan Bain, who has been the bank’s Chief Financial Officer in Guernsey since 2016, assumes the role of Managing Director of Guernsey. And Maria Moore, who joined the company last year as Head of Finance in Jersey, has been named Head of Finance, Banking, for the Channel Islands and UK.
Investec Bank (Channel Islands) has named Emily Dawson as Head of Corporate and Family Office in Guernsey. Emily, who has 20 years’ experience in the bailiwick’s financial services sector, joined Investec last February after more than seven years with Barclays. Prior to that, she spent 10 years with Northern Trust Wealth Management, having started her career with Kleinwort Benson. In her new role, Emily’s remit is to strengthen Investec’s family office provision, working with the group to support global family offices with offshore expertise in banking, lending and wealth management.
the future of wealth
The wealth sector is seeing all manner of shifts and changes. What do you, as leaders in this sector, see as the single biggest trend or disruption facing you right now?
Cameron Senior, HSBC: For me, it’s hyper-personalisation. It’s taking AI and customer service to the next level, and could include everything from personalised messaging to updates about products and services, all available in one place – and all within an app. It’s this type of transformation that brings together the ease, speed and convenience of digital services, while blending them with the important aspects of personal interaction. Getting this balance right will be crucial for clients. Blockchain and digital assets have the potential to open up new opportunities, too. International payments will be quicker than ever with the power of blockchain. Investments previously reserved for wealthier clients can be accessed by more people. For example, real assets, such as property and commodities, can be made more liquid and accessible by digitising them on blockchain. Traditional investments such as bonds, which previously may have had high minimums of $250,000, could be tokenised to smaller denominations of $1,000, opening up investment opportunities for many more people.
The panel of experts:
Mirek Gruna , Chief Commercial Officer, Jersey, IQ-EQ: Mirek has more than 18 years’ experience in financial services, with a particular focus on working with institutional as well private investors to implement and oversee the governance structures for their international investments. As well as being an expert in client service delivery, he is well versed in organic growth, new client acquisition and jurisdictional expansion.
Andy Bailey, Group Head of Fiduciary, Belasko: Andy has more than 20 years of financial services experience with 12 leading independent trust companies. He has worked extensively in complex private client and corporate structures for UHNW internationals.
Catherine Moore, Partner, Ogier: Catherine is a Partner in Ogier’s Private Wealth team in Guernsey, working on a variety of non-contentious as well as contentious matters. A Guernsey Advocate, she advises on a range of private wealth structures, including trusts and foundations, working closely with fiduciary services providers and high-net-worth individuals.
Amid a period of great disruption and transition in the wealth sector, we invited five Channel Islands thought leaders to discuss the key issues facing wealth players today – and what the future might look like
Sophie Yabsley, Ravenscroft: Inflation is definitely the buzzword for 2023 in our view – and will likely cause big changes in the wealth sector. Inflation has been very low for a prolonged period of time and, while it is unlikely to reach the highs we saw in the 1970s, it seems probable that we will need to get used to a structurally higher inflation in the coming years.
Of course, things can change quickly and we do not claim to be able to predict the future. But inflation materially affects the investment landscape and it is very important to consider it as part of our investment strategy. Not all businesses, sectors and assets classes will do well in an inflationary environment, and a strategy that has performed well over the past 10 years may struggle during the next 10 if managers don’t adapt.
Andy Bailey, Belasko: Deglobalisation will be the single biggest issue for me. For the first time in a generation, we have a less-connected world, characterised by powerful nation states, local solutions, and border controls, rather than global institutions, treaties and free movement. It will affect everything in our everyday lives. Trade friction will induce rising costs on everyday staples, which in turn causes inflationary pressure on our day-to-day cost of living. At the other end of the scale, we have the very real threat of sustained nation state warfare.
Deglobalisation will in turn cause greater uncertainty, and I believe that’s where the Channel Islands can play a part in administering and enhancing wealth – with the backdrop of a stable political, regulatory and legal regime coupled with high-quality advisers.
Catherine Moore, Ogier: I would say the biggest single issue right now is a genuine shift in focus for many clients, particularly the next generation of wealth holders. More clients are looking to different, non-traditional forms of investment and seeing the purpose of investing and structuring differently. Due to this, the sector will need to be alive to clients’ developing and changing interests, including keeping an eye on growth areas such as ESG and impact investing, cryptocurrency, and other growing markets, such as cannabis-related businesses.
Mirek Gruna, IQ-EQ: The battle for transparency versus the right for privacy will be another one to watch, in my view. In November 2022, the European Court of Justice ruled that publicly accessible registers containing the personal details of beneficial owners of companies constitutes a “serious interference with the fundamental rights of respect for private life and the protection of personal data”. This ruling will be an influencing factor for many jurisdictions outside the EU to consider the compatibility of their regulatory regimes with the fundamental rights to respect for private and family life. The principle of proportionality will be the key here to consider when governments look at the requirements for disclosure of beneficial ownership and its extent.
Sophie Yabsley, Director, Ravenscroft (CI): Sophie is a longstanding member of the Ravenscroft team, having joined in 2008. She is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, and also a Chartered Wealth Manager. As well as serving as a Director, Sophie is a Portfolio Manager and leads the company’s client services team. She is responsible for client experience and satisfaction across the group and also acts as the lead contact for several key intermediary relationships.
Cameron Senior, Interim Head of Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man and HSBC Expat: Cameron is responsible for driving the ongoing evolution of HSBC’s wealth proposition for international expat customers and those across the islands. He has been with the bank for more than 25 years, working in Australia, the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. Prior to his current role in the islands, Cameron was Head of Wealth and International with HSBC in Singapore, responsible for the strategic growth and investment in the Wealth and International business in the jurisdiction.
it seems probable that we will need to get used to a structurally higher inflation
We are hearing an awful lot about the Great Wealth Transfer at present. Just how big an impact do you expect that will have on the sector – and how will firms need to adapt accordingly?
Cameron Senior, HSBC: It is estimated that, over the next 25 years, roughly $15trn will be transferred from one generation to the next. Therefore, there is a huge opportunity to help manage the wealth transfer needs over the coming decades to those next in line.
The recipients will have differing outlooks, will be increasingly global and will also be looking to find meaning in the way they use and manage their wealth. Digital needs within wealth management will become ever more important to clients who have grown up with this technology and are used to more digital personalisation in services.
An example of this could be differing communications – for example, social media posts or videos. However, client services will always depend on their individual wants and needs.
Sophie Yabsley, Ravenscroft: Having a client base spanning all age ranges – ours ranges from 18 to 95-year-olds at present – we are very conscious of the different wants and needs that shifts in generational wealth can present. The most obvious is technology, as Cameron mentioned there, with the previous generation preferring to pick up the phone and speak to a human and younger generations generally preferring to manage their finances online. With that in mind, firms will have to respond by investing in technology and automation, while also making sure that they provide approachable and accessible human contact when desired.
Another theme is the increasing focus on ESG and all that it encompasses; the requirement to embrace ESG is certainly more noticeable among younger investors and is higher up their priority list. The growing requirement for transparency around investments will likely impact the whole sector.
We will also likely see a continuation in the demand for investment options focused on investing in solutions to key world challenges, such as energy transition, resource scarcity and emerging inequality.
Andy Bailey, Belasko: What we are dealing with here is a new generation of highly educated and informed families. The traditional approach of a matriarch or patriarch not involving their children in family wealth decisions is in decline. We are seeing families adopting a more unified and informed approach, with younger family members being engaged at an earlier stage. This is a positive development, and it is important that today’s advisers are able to develop a relationship and understand the needs of the younger generations. ESG does become an ever more popular subject, and it will be important to demonstrate how today’s wealth structures and investment strategies deliver returns and a positive ESG impact.
Catherine Moore, Ogier: The Great Wealth Transfer will form a significant portion of wealth advisers’ work because it impacts many different areas – from changes in investment criteria and objectives, to increased mobility and multi-jurisdictional issues arising, and an increase in divorced or unmarried family members’ involvement in structures. Practitioners working in this sphere must be aware of the next generation’s thoughts
and concerns as well as the risks and issues that may arise from the cross-generational transfer of wealth. This will lead to the revisiting, consolidation, reconciliation or restructuring of structures and potential divisions between families where the ‘glue that held the family together’ is no longer there, be that a family member or members, a business or a common attitude.
Mirek Gruna, IQ-EQ: The word ‘transfer’ assumes a number of alternatives; and the transfer is geographical, as well as inter-generational. Working closely with the family to understand their plans and moves will be the key to future jurisdictional wealth transfers, and tax planning will still be a core aspect.
When it comes to inter-generational transfer, this is more about psychology of motivation than about structuring and tax planning. We need to understand what motivates different generations and what objectives they want to set for themselves and their wealth – only then can we assist their plains in a more holistic way.
the next generation’s thoughts and concerns may lead to divisions between families where the ‘glue that held the family together’ is no longer there
Do you feel the current economic turbulence and macroeconomic disruption will alter wealth patterns – and if so, how?
Sophie Yabsley, Ravenscroft: Investment markets have always been, and likely always will be, volatile. While pandemics, for example, are not necessarily ‘normal’, market volatility definitely is. These periods can be unpleasant to live through, but market shocks are a very normal part of any market cycle. And I think that, in these modern times, they have become seemingly exacerbated by the daily bombardment of emotive headlines and information at all our fingertips.
What’s important to remember is that, historically, there has always been something to worry about – humans are naturally myopic and apply disproportionate weight to the recent past.
Throughout history, even in the most volatile periods, there have always been investments that have done well. The challenge is to find them.
That certainly highlights the importance of diversification and active management within portfolios – particularly when the macroeconomic backdrop is rapidly changing. We must ensure that various options are available to help clients navigate these times and help them build stable portfolios, whether that is in global blue chips, property investments, cash management or precious metals.
Cameron Senior, HSBC: It’s clear that 2022 was one of the only years on record where both equities and bonds ended with a negative performance. In addition, we saw the rare occasion of looming recession with parallel high interest rates – with record acceleration on the central bank rates side. This has naturally led to a lot of nervousness and caution in the market with clients pulling investments or sitting on cash and waiting to invest.
Andy Bailey, Belasko: It certainly makes the stable political climate and secured legal system of the Channel Islands attractive. Private capital does make quick decisions. However, prolonged uncertainly and a desire to protect wealth for future generations will see an increased appetite in ultra-high-net-worth individuals seeking to diversify and hold assets in more than one jurisdiction, in my view.
With ongoing turbulence and an uncertain future, I am also seeing clients adopt a more conservative approach by taking money off the table from riskier PE-style investments and taking advantage of the higher yield available in traditional treasury and cash management options.
Catherine Moore, Ogier: What’s interesting for me is that while disruptive times can significantly and negatively impact many clients’ wealth and risk appetite, others will see it as a time of real opportunity. For example, the pandemic was a time of real growth, unprecedented in fact, for some UHNWIs.
However, it will be interesting to see the correlation between macroeconomic disruption and volatility and the growth or reduction in investments in alternative or emerging asset classes. We expect an increase in these asset classes, an increase in investment within these, and a different attitude to risk and investment.
If this is the case, it remains to be seen how these factors will work alongside the impact of a possibly volatile environment on these relatively young sectors.
Mirek Gruna, IQ-EQ: I agree that each market challenge creates an opportunity. Families may be looking more at alternative assets rather than public markets. They may also want to look at safe harbour assets, such as gold or other commodities. But, overall, we have not seen a slowdown of interest from families in planning ahead and setting up appropriate structures.
The potential of technology to disrupt and revolutionise the wealth space has been touted for some time. How do you feel the influence of technology is changing – and will it increasingly alter the sector moving forward?
Cameron Senior, HSBC: As I mentioned earlier, the expectation is that digital wealth journeys, such as hyper-personalised experiences, are now key and they will continue to drive change within the wealth management industry. Imperative in this transformation is the personalised aspect of the interactions, to ensure clients are being supported with a range of services in order to effectively manage their wealth.
Sophie Yabsley, Ravenscroft: For me, the technological developments within the wealth space have already allowed people to take a greater level of control over their finances and the flow of their money. Whether that be simple online banking, traditional investments, cryptocurrency or financial research, technology has opened personal finance management up to a much wider audience.
This can be very positive – it allows people to learn more about their money and become more financially educated. It provides more visibility and allows people to keep ‘on top’ of their own situation, and to prepare for their future. For example, people will be more likely to take advantage of things such as savings schemes, pensions and ISAs if such schemes can be arranged with a few simple clicks.
It can also be negative, though – people may gravitate towards cheaper, self-service options rather than paying for financial advice that they could benefit more from. Users and providers alike will need to be very aware of the heightened chance of cybercrime and fraud, too. Businesses will need to ascertain in which areas of ▼
their offering technology adds value – and in which areas human interaction is preferable for clients and customers.
Andy Bailey, Belasko: Greater access to investment performance, accounting data and action trackers is also increasingly becoming the norm. Clients do not want to send emails chasing for information and answers – they want access to that information via portals and hubs. Wealth managers and fiduciary firms will need to continue to invest in technology solutions to ensure the efficient production of information and interaction with clients.
Catherine Moore, Ogier: Technology has changed the world in so many ways, no less evidently than during the pandemic. Accessibility to information and opportunity has opened up thanks to technology, with many investors now monitoring and dealing with investments themselves.
Particularly as the next generation becomes involved, I think their desire for fast and direct communication and action will continue to change the offerings of investment and private wealth service providers. However, with greater access can come greater risk. The accessibility for clients and the increases seen in the disclosure of information through tech-based applications will need to be kept in mind as the world we operate in becomes ever more technology based.
Mirek Gruna, IQ-EQ: I think there is particular merit in focusing on how technology can support families and enhance their governance. What has historically been a piece of paper showing a family structure, tree or charter can now be a living and interactive online dashboard that each family member can access. Providers will spend time and money developing such tools to stay ahead of the competition, helping families who have not yet reached their critical mass of wealth to justify having a dedicated family office.
What interesting geographical shifts/patterns are we witnessing at the moment in terms of wealth?
Catherine Moore, Ogier: It is not surprising that we have seen growth in Asian markets, many of which were previously not connected to financial centres such as Guernsey. The markets where we have seen significant development, including China and India, have some of the fastest growing numbers of multimillionaires and billionaires in the world, with an increasing connection to the west – be that through education, investment or simply greater access. In turn, due to these thriving connections, the interest in investing in these countries continues to grow.
Mirek Gruna, IQ-EQ: China is definitely an interesting jurisdiction at the moment. We will see some shift based on the political decisions of the Chinese government, in my view, as well as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. We may also see in the not too distant future Chinese families relocating to Europe or the US in slightly higher numbers.
Sophie Yabsley, Ravenscroft: China has been the key focus for us in respect of monitoring growing global consumption, with higher levels of disposable income being spent on foreign education, western goods and luxury brands. I agree that an opaque political environment, global scrutiny and the impact of Covid-19 may well cause investors to look elsewhere. With improved economic policies and an increasingly skilled workforce, countries such as India, Vietnam and the Middle East all have the potential to exhibit rapid economic growth over the next decade.
Cameron Senior, HSBC: There are several layers to this question. Globally, there is a shift of wealth to Asian countries such as China and India. Regarding wealth management, there are multiple themes in the market around the rise of Asia and several sub-themes for specific sectors, especially after a very challenging 2022. HSBC Global Research estimates that wealth in Asia (excluding Japan) could outstrip the US by 2025, and the number of Asia millionaires (excluding Japan and China) is set to rise from about 10 million currently to 22 million by 2030.
Andy Bailey, Belasko: We still see a strong desire for UHNW families to seek high-quality investment management and guidance through both local and London-based advisory teams. We are also seeing a greater interest from families in the investment strategy, ESG components and comparative benchmarks to other service providers.
We may see Chinese families relocating to Europe or the US in slightly higher numbers
Can you share your views on the legal and regulatory outlook for the sector in the coming years – what are the key issues that may shape future trends?
Mirek Gruna, IQ-EQ: As I mentioned earlier with regard to discussions on disclosure of beneficial ownership, I think we will likely see some adjustment between the need to combat money laundering and terrorism financing and respecting fundamental human rights. It will be interesting to see the international debate led by supra-national bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force and what, if any, adjustments to international standards this will potentially lead to in the coming years.
Catherine Moore, Ogier: The disclosure and transfer of data and personal information will continue to be a key factor for clients, services providers and advisers. The volume and complexity of legislation introduced in this area over the past decade is unprecedented.
The ultimate objective of the regimes introduced is client protection and the avoidance of money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion. These are all essential objectives, but they have potentially come at the cost of individual privacy. However, following a recent European Union judgment focusing on the right to privacy, it appears we may be moving in the direction that many clients had hoped we would.
Cameron Senior, HSBC: The regulatory landscape for wealth management is definitely ever changing. A few key areas that could have a large impact are around sustainable, responsible and impact investing, along with the use of digital assets and the further use of AI with regards to determining suitability or portfolio creation. All of these could have a big impact on the direction wealth managers take in servicing their clients.
Andy Bailey, Belasko: The regulatory framework of the Channel Islands has ensured that they remain compliant with international standards and have resulted in positive inflows of high-calibre business. I agree that increased regulation and transparency will continue to be a strong theme as we move forward, and the Channel Islands should not be afraid to embrace it.
Sophie Yabsley, Ravenscroft: Financial businesses are indeed constantly navigating a changing backdrop, and the key is to ensure that systems are in place to allow us to comply with changes quickly and efficiently – technology plays a big part in this. The guidance that is currently in the spotlight is consumer duty; how this will affect businesses in the Channel Islands is yet to be seen.
Do you expect the Channel Islands to continue to thrive as an international financial centre of choice for wealth holders, investors and managers – and why?
Cameron Senior, HSBC: I absolutely do. As one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations, with a worldwide network that covers 63 countries and territories, our international proposition is extensive, and the Channel Islands and Isle of Man are important locations within our network. Our HSBC Expat business is based in the Channel Islands, and we manage the wealth for our international clients who live here and all over the world. The islands are well regulated and many Channel Islands financial service businesses are based in multiple locations, which positions the islands as an attractive, safe and robust location for clients with global needs.
Sophie Yabsley, Ravenscroft: Ravenscroft has always felt hugely positive regarding the future of the Channel Islands, and this is evident in the fact that we have based our business headquarters in Guernsey, an expanding office in Jersey and, more recently, a physical presence in Alderney. I agree that the Channel Islands are a well-established, well-regulated, respected finance centre and we continue to attract talent and businesses to our shores. The pandemic highlighted that the Channel Islands can offer a wonderful balance between a thriving financial industry and an enviable way of life.
While governments and regulators within the islands must not become complacent, we believe we are well positioned to continue competing on the global playing field.
Andy Bailey, Belasko: Thankfully, the Channel Islands are renowned for being a safe and stable location for wealth preservation and enhancement. And, in a world consumed by geopolitical turbulence and uncertainty, they present a safe harbour with certainty of assets and a jurisprudencebased legal system.
Mirek Gruna, IQ-EQ: I think that as long as we continue to invest in technology and we keep challenging ourselves while competing to deliver the best services, we will be at the forefront of the minds of international families and their advisers.
People keep saying that the competition is tough and the market is saturated. I see this as an interesting challenge and survival of the fittest – meaning those businesses investing in technology and the best people will continue to thrive.
Catherine Moore, Ogier: I would add that I think the playing field for international finance centres has been levelling out over the past decade. Changes in jurisdictions’ legislation, external authorities prescribing transparency and information exchange standards, and globalisation of workforce and clients alike have helped this balance.
However, the standards reflected across all areas of the finance and private wealth sector set Guernsey apart and are intrinsic to the island’s reputation and success.
From the standards implemented and enforced by the island’s regulator to the high calibre of professional advisers and service providers, together with the internationally renowned court system and judicial decision-making in the jurisdiction – these are the core elements of Guernsey’s offering as an international finance centre. These are not easily achieved. n
Laura Nevitt, Director, Private Client Services, Hawksford, on adapting to meet the needs of wealthy families in challenging times
AS WE EMERGE from the global pandemic and with inflation impacting the long-term value of investments, wealthy families are having to take stock and assess how to safeguard their wealth, both with an eye on today and looking into the future.
Further, with the Consumer Prices Index typically underestimating ultrahigh-net-worth (UHNW) living expenses, families are also having to work harder to protect and preserve their wealth for future generations.
These pressures, alongside increasing ESG concerns and rapid digital developments, have prompted families to refocus, taking a more nuanced approach
to their investment strategies. Notably, last year, Gibson Strategy published a Jersey Private Wealth Report, highlighting the need for families to adapt their investment strategies, noting negative yields once inflation is taken into account.
Further, ongoing geopolitical tensions and continued tightening of monetary policy have the potential to create increased market volatility and additional strain for investors during 2023.
Consequently, it is vital that advisers wishing to remain relevant are aware of such risks and ready to challenge the status quo, while also keeping an eye on where the opportunities lie.
Investment advisers, for instance, point to where previously fixed income was deemed not to provide sufficient diversification or returns, but now rises in interest rates have made income from bond interest more valuable.
As an example, Drew McNeil, Head of Client Relationships at Wren Investment Office, explains: “Opportunities are beginning to show up in high-quality, short-dated investment-grade fixed income, with much higher yields on offer than just 12 months ago, as well as commodity plays benefiting from increased investment in renewable energy infrastructure and demand from China’s post-Covid-19 recovery.”
With estimates suggesting that up to $70trn of family wealth will be passed on to the next generation in the coming years, it is clear the stakes are high.
Increasingly, wealthy families with an entrepreneurial spirit are turning to direct investments to maximise their options and unlock new opportunities.
Although typically higher risk, families with wealth built from successful business endeavours often have expertise and contacts, particularly when selecting investments that are aligned to their skills and where they can also provide an active, guiding hand.
A report by Fintrx, for example, found that nearly half (44%) of family offices globally who make direct investments do so through co-investment approaches.
Although such families often hold a diverse range of assets – from traditional discretionary investment portfolios to real estate, art and commodities such as gold –they also often have a higher tolerance for risk combined with an appetite for fresh opportunities.
Having greater liquidity with no need to borrow externally – a blessing when set against rising interest rates – allows
UHNW entrepreneurs to be nimble when opportunities arise. And, with a large adjustment in the market predicted to lower valuation prices, there is significant potential on the horizon.
Undoubtedly, there are risks too, and families who stray into unfamiliar territory may find themselves investing more time and money than desired without reaping satisfactory returns – underlining the need for specialist advisory support.
Against this backdrop, imminent and significant intergenerational wealth transfer is adding another dimension to the evolution in family investment needs.
With the migration of decision-making to the next generation and the acceleration of ESG in general, it seems clear that even greater emphasis will be placed on sustainability, purpose and impact as nextgen investors control more capital.
As a result, structures that accommodate multigenerational requirements and that are designed with a long-term outlook, including setting out a clear succession plan, will be essential.
A report published last year by Family Capital focusing on family office investment, meanwhile, highlighted that 80% of families believe communication and education are key to ensuring effective governance in a multigenerational context. It pointed to the need not just for structural considerations, but for cultural and behavioural change to be integrated into a family’s holistic approach.
Consequently, it is imperative that teams supporting UHNW families build strong relationships with their clients, while also creating bespoke investment strategies capable of encompassing a variety of needs.
Overall, a forward-thinking approach is critical. While there has been a rise in more exotic and less mainstream assets such as cannabis and cryptocurrency in recent years, sustainable, impact and ESG investments – which would once have been similarly categorised – have now become a core component of investment strategies.
It’s no surprise then that in 2020 the market size of impact investing stood at $715bn, an incredible 42% rise from $502bn in 2018 (Global Impact Investing Network). Those families adopting a forward-thinking approach have reaped the rewards.
As a long-term trend, advisers will need to ensure they are at the top of their game in key areas, such as sustainable finance and digital assets, if they are to remain in step with their clients.
Such a future-focused approach has the potential to be transformational to the wealth management sector at large, with families able to take a longer-term view and put in place measures to safeguard against multigenerational wealth erosion.
In this environment, advisers will increasingly be turned to for expertise and proficiency as global markets continue to evolve, as new trends emerge, and as this next generation of investors steps into the spotlight. n
Advisers will need to ensure they are at the top of their game in key areas such as sustainable finance and digital assets
Increasingly, wealthy families with an entrepreneurial spirit are turning to direct investments
What women want
TODAY, 32% OF the world’s wealth is held by women, and it’s thought that by 2023 they will be collectively responsible for $93trn – up from $77trn in 2020. That’s a startling shift in three years.
Not only do women represent a growing group that retains significant global wealth, but they are also influencing spending trends more than ever before.
Boston Consulting Group forecasts that by 2028 women will control 75% of discretionary spending, making them key decision-makers in how and where money goes. This means brands, businesses and –crucially – wealth management firms and wealth advisers must think carefully and proactively about how they support, appeal to and serve women.
In fact, research by consultancy Oliver Wyman predicts that the finance industry alone is missing out on $700bn of revenue by ignoring women.
HOW WOMEN SPEND
And yet, the differences in how men and women approach their finances remains stark – especially when it comes to investing.
Women aged between 21 and 53 are believed to have half as much money set aside for investments as men in the same age group, and there is still much to be done in terms of educating women on the merits of a larger portfolio. A 2022 BNY
Mellon Investment Management study, for example, calculated that if women invested at the same rate as men, there could be more than $3.22trn of additional capital to invest globally – including $1.87trn towards sustainable and impact investing.
“Countless studies – including our own –tell us that women don’t invest as much as men,” says Jane Parry, Head of Marketing and Communications at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management.
“Our most recent survey showed that 24% of high-net-worth women do not have a pension or an investment portfolio. By comparison, just 14% of wealthy men don’t hold investments, and only 18% are without pensions.”
She adds: “We also know that men are much more confident investors, with well over a third believing they will get a better return from their investments than they will from property or pensions.
“What we are seeing are two very different perspectives on how men and women expect to safeguard their financial future.”
Christina Liciaga, Head of Customer and Products, Europe, Channel Islands and Isle of Man for HSBC, says the women she talks to see sense in long-term future planning, especially if they manage budgets either for work or home.
Wealth around the world is increasingly held by women –and that’s going to ramp up in the coming years. So how do women’s attitudes to finance differ? And how should banks and wealth firms evolve their propositions to better attract and meet the needs of this growing client base?
“We also know that those who do manage budgets tend to be savvy about savings,” she says. “But, when we look at the number of women investing, there’s still a material gap.”
Liciaga continues: “Data from our HSBC Expat business highlighted that of those customers with finances to invest, only 28% of women, compared with 72% of men, made investments.
“As a business focused on wealth management, it’s imperative we understand the barriers that women face when it comes to wealth planning.”
BARRIERS TO INVESTMENT
Parry acknowledges these barriers. “There are widely understood practical reasons why women, over many generations, have been unable to invest as much as men,” she says.
“They may have, for example, taken career breaks for caring responsibilities with greater frequency. They also need to fund longer retirement periods because they live longer than men generally.
“But where high-net-worth women have the funds to invest, it seems there are other barriers holding them back, too.
“Our sense is that part of the problem may be that the wealth management industry has historically been seen as an ‘old boys club’ that simply hasn’t done enough to proactively engage with women and start a conversation.
“This means that the industry as a whole must do more to alter this perception to get more women investing.”
As well as feeling as if they are outcasts of this particular group, Liciaga points to another trait that many women share. “Another attribute that women have in common is how busy they are,” she says. “And being time-poor is a universal aspect of everyday life for many people.”
She explains that for women, the ability to manage their finances while juggling several competing demands is a must.
“This means that ruthlessly carving out time for financial wellbeing is something we advocate for everyone.
“Equally important are emergency funds. The global pandemic taught us that we should all expect the unexpected at some point in our lives, and planning for the unknown is an important element of financial wellbeing.”
Phoebe Chamier, Senior Investment Manager at Brooks Macdonald International, stresses that while women may lack confidence, they don’t lack ability.
“Studies have shown that women on average perform better with investments over time,” she says. “Whether that’s someone just playing around with a fake investment portfolio or actual female fund managers managing money, women do better than men.”
MEETING WOMEN’S NEEDS
With all this in mind, what can banks and wealth firms do to support women? Chamier, in the first instance, touches on what they shouldn’t be doing.
“I really don’t like the idea of pink washing or pink labelling – which is basically putting the word ‘women’ in the name of something in order to sell. This isn’t what it’s about. It’s about offering all of these women – the ones I speak to who are so curious about this topic but don’t know where to start – an inroad into the world of investing, and getting them to talk about money more,” she says.
Liciaga adds: “It’s crucial to understand and get to know your customer, but it’s also important to keep front of mind that there’s no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ wealth proposition.”
“So, arming women with information that enables them to feel confident about financial decision-making, wherever they are on their wealth journey, is vital. It’s one of the reasons why we host a Women in Wealth webinar series, specifically designed to talk to and empower women about financial management.”
She continues: “We’re also ensuring that our propositions and expertise are varied and available to women in a range
Oliver Wyman predicts that the finance industry is missing out on $700bn of revenue by ignoring women
of methods, including online and digital, along with access to our team of wealth relationship managers.
“It’s important for women to remember that they don’t need to know everything about financial planning at the start. Key is knowing the numerous places they can go to get information that can help in opening up a world of opportunity in support of their financial goals.”
Catherine Taylor, Chief Operations Officer at Rathbones Investment Management International in Jersey, highlights the value of digital platforms in helping women.
“Digital platforms provide easier and greater access, and mean that women don’t have to see someone in person. It’s also more anonymous, which is useful if someone isn’t terribly confident,” she says.
“We know that women are more riskaverse, and this shows when it comes to their investment strategies. They might, for example, be more inclined to invest in fixed income products rather than equities.
“And what we’re seeing as a result are more investment managers taking this into account when they make their products available to women.”
When it comes to financial advisers, Taylor believes women often prefer talking to other women. “This is why a lot of investment managers are trying to recruit more senior female investment directors so that this is part of their offering,” she says.
“That said, while we have seen an increase in the number of women in financial services, there’s still a gap –particularly when it comes to more senior advisers. This means there’s a lack of qualified female advisers and investment professionals who can serve female clients.
“I think women try to have a more personal connection with their advisers than men. Men can be a bit more aloof and they tend not to be quite so close, which may mean they aren’t as transparent. Women are very honest and open, as well as more risk-averse.
“This means that a different approach is needed. When you’re working with a client,
it’s absolutely key to understand their life goals – and those will be very different for men and women.”
Chamier is of the opinion that the financial services industry has a lot to answer for when it comes to how it interacts with clients.
“Ultimately, we need to change how we engage with people. We need to alter our approach and our language,” she
says. “The use of jargon is completely ridiculous. You catch yourself sometimes. We’ve all been professionally trained, we listen to market updates and economists. And this means that we absorb these phrases that summarise very complex ideas.
“But if we’re trying to gain the attention or the confidence of a client, then there’s absolutely no point in sitting across the table from them and using this kind of language because they walk away feeling completely bamboozled.
“What we know about women is that if they don’t fully understand something, then they aren’t going to engage and move forward with it,” concludes Chamier.
“So, we should be unpicking the jargon and putting it into layman’s terms. Because while investments are complicated, they certainly aren’t above the minds of the general population.” n
arming women with information that enables them to feel confident about financial decision-making, wherever they are on their wealth journey, is vital
The road ahead
Economic and geopolitical turmoil over the past 12 to 18 months has resulted in high inflation and a borderline recession – leading in turn to investment managers and CFO s reappraising expectations for 2023 and beyondWords: Steve Falla
IN THE WAKE of a turbulent 18 months of rising inflation, high-profile conflict and geographical tensions, and the threat of a global recession, investment managers are revising their advice to clients as they put 2022 behind them.
And despite that widely forecast global recession, many are looking forward with at least some optimism to what might be achieved on the new economic landscape.
At a company level, chief financial officers are indicating that they will soon forsake borrowing in favour of looking to internal cost reduction to free up working capital.
Deloitte Channel Islands Lead Partner John Clacy says: “Unsurprisingly, we have seen credit conditions tighten. The availability of finance is becoming trickier and the cost of that finance is going up – so this is clearly on CFOs’ minds in terms of using credit to invest and to expand.”
Clacy bases his view on Deloitte’s quarterly CFO survey for Q4 2022. It shows that CFOs believe borrowing is less attractive now than at any time since the global financial crisis in 2009, with demand for credit flagging as a result.
“The most aggressive tightening of monetary policy in more than 30 years is reshaping corporate attitudes to debt,” he says. “In the era of ultra-low interest rates, debt finance easily eclipsed equity. Now they are roughly on a par in the eyes of CFOs, which is unsurprising.”
Another finding of the Deloitte report was that finance leaders’ perception of risks related to inflation and energy has fallen. CFOs expect inflation to fall to 5.8% in a year’s time and 3.3% in two years’ time – a marked softening of inflation expectations compared with views reported in Q3.
“The disruption we saw around the energy market and concern we had around inflation peaked in Q3 last year and is beginning to fall away. If you look at where we’ve come from, that’s significant,” continues Clacy.
Lee Morris, Investment Director at Rathbones Investment Management International, is also seeking out the positive factors following a challenging year for investors.
“It’s difficult to assess with certainty, but I don’t think there’s a huge scope for inflation to go substantially higher,” he says. “A good indication of that is that energy prices are declining markedly in Europe. Sterling inflation is a bit more stubborn than in the US and in Europe, but I would agree with the sentiment that we are approaching peak inflation and that it should subside as we go into the rest of the year and into 2024.”
Morris also believes the chances of a global recession are diminishing. “It looks like the EU has avoided a recession, albeit mildly,” he adds. “France saw two positive quarters of 0.01% in Q3 and Q4 of 2022 and, overall, the EU has been extraordinarily resilient, which is a big surprise for most people.
“Globally, the IMF has come out and said that there’s actually an air of optimism around and it looks like we may need to revise our forecast for 2023, with global growth potentially expanding by around 3.2% this year.”
Morris adds: “Regarding the effects of all this on the Channel Islands, I’m going
to try to put a positive spin on it. There’s enough bad news out there and that’s why we get questions such as ‘Is there going to be a recession?’.”
“But if portfolios recover, then the assets under management of investment firms will increase. If confidence recovers in the global economy, then firms that operate in Jersey and Guernsey under a tax-neutral status, should be able to survive and possibly thrive.
“It’s idiosyncratic and it’s going to hurt people. But, broad stroke, we’re OK. Confidence is reasserting itself, asset prices are recovering and businesses should be fine.”
Ongoing confidence will be influenced by the actions of financial authorities and central banks, Morris adds.
“Global authorities are operating a balancing act. If they make further aggressive interest rate hikes, that’s going to suck out the confidence of the economy, reducing the ability and willingness to spend,” he explains.
“I think authorities will try to mitigate further interest rate rises by articulating to the market that we are near to peak
We are approaching peak inflation and it should subside as we go into the rest of the year and into 2024
inflation. They have to show the market and inflation that they are not messing around – but at the same time, if they increase interest rates it will be bad for people and ultimately businesses.
“So they will be mindful that they need to maintain this balancing act. They will use a version of rhetoric and forward guidance to calm down the market, which tends to overreact in the short term.”
CHANGE OF FOCUS
UK CFOs maintained a cautious strategic stance in the fourth quarter, with the weakest focus on expansionary strategies in two and a half years and the strongest focus on defensive strategies in two years.
The increased focus on defensive strategies was driven by a sharp rise in the priority given to increasing cash flow. With CFOs also reporting significant rises in operating costs and margin pressure, it is unsurprising that cost reduction remains their top priority overall.
Clacy explains: “CFOs say that cost control and cash accumulation are their top balance sheet priorities over the coming 12 months but, on a three-year timeframe,
their focus is on technology, digital transformation and skills.”
So where will the cost savings come from? Clacy suggests: “The appetite for investment goes down and you look internally to free up working capital both by cost reduction and scaling back on investment.
“What also gets pulled back normally is discretionary spend – and that might be on marketing, it might be on training, it might be on areas of research and development.
“You would also then look at reduction in terms of acquisition plans, capital expenditure and reducing leverage.”
But it’s not all bad news, according to Clacy. “In a hardening market, there are also opportunities. And as the competitive environment gets sharper, stronger businesses will see that as an opportunity to grow market share.
“They will also see this as the time to try structural changes they’ve been thinking about and the opportunity to optimise pricing. And if people are selling off assets, there’s the ability to pick those up.”
Morris recognises that, when constructing an investment portfolio, it
is important to consider companies that have economic moats, with strong balance sheets, and some monopolistic pricing powers with the ability to deliver services that a dynamic consumer base wants.
“A lot of the companies in the UK are regarded as defensive – oil companies, consumer durables, non-cyclical types of names – so the FTSE could carry on and have a reasonable 2023,” he explains.
“For example, Shell and other energy companies have posted exceptional profits because the price of oil has risen, but it is important to have a mix of value and growth-enabling portfolios to operate in a range of different environments.
“Bottom-up stock selection is probably more important than it has been over the past decade or so. And bond markets could win back favour with investors who have largely abandoned them as uninteresting during a sustained period of low rates.
“Now, with elevated yields, bond markets are extraordinarily attractive and haven’t been this attractive for around 20 years,” Morris says.
BACK TO THE SEVENTIES
After many years of non-inflationary consistent expansion, the economy has moved closer to 1970s-style stagflation. Morris speculates that this could stimulate productivity.
“We must recognise that there’s a bit of a change going on,” he says. “Anybody getting a mortgage over the past 10 years has become accustomed to very low interest rates and low levels of inflation.
“We now need to become accustomed to slightly higher interest rates and with them higher levels of inflation. This isn’t going to go away overnight.
“Over the longer term, higher interest rates may attract investment into more productive elements of the economy, which will ultimately be more beneficial for the broader economy, and stronger for the current account deficit. This could reduce the productivity gap in advanced economies such as the UK and France.”
So where does Morris think the smart money will be invested in 2023?
“Bonds are a good investment for the first time in a long time. There are some excellent yields on offer in companies that are imperative to their national, regional economies.
“And within the equity element of portfolios you should be looking for a blend of defensive assets and some noncyclical names that are maybe more value orientated, which means they can operate in an environment where there are higher interest rates,” he says.
“Don’t throw out all your growth names that have delivered good returns for you in the past.” n
Bottom-up stock selection is probably more important than it has been over the last decade. And bond markets could win back favour
The great wealth transfer
As a vast proportion of the world’s wealth transitions rapidly from the baby boomer generation to Millennials, what are the opportunities and challenges – and what will it mean for wealth management the world over?
IT IS ESTIMATED that over the next 30 years, a record £5.5trn will be transferred from Baby Boomers to Millennials, as either inheritance or gifts. Dubbed the Great Wealth Transfer, it is an increasingly pressing area of focus for those in the wealth management sector around the world.
With shifting demographics and changing customer behaviour, it’s clear that the Great Wealth Transfer provides opportunities and challenges for wealth managers, not least those who work in family offices.
John Wood, Managing Director at FCM, believes one of the best outcomes of the Great Wealth Transfer is the creation of a pool of entrepreneurs who are looking to risk capital for a future pay day.
“Most of their energy is in creation rather than innovation,” he says. “They think differently to previous generations and have the advantage of risking wealth created by the previous generation. The actual wealth generators can be more risk-averse given that they created the wealth in the first place.”
Financial services globally will remain strong, Wood argues, as wealth ultimately grows – investment managers and independent financial advisers will be picking up new wealth pots as the entrepreneurs thrive.
“The venture capital market will also thrive as money is injected into new ideas and ‘the next big thing’,” he adds.
Kellyann Ozouf, Collas Crill Partner and Head of the firm’s international private client and trusts team in Jersey, agrees that intergenerational wealth transfer presents a huge opportunity for advisers – so long as they invest the time to build trust across generations.
“Seeking and maintaining the engagement of the whole family is critical to succession planning for any family and its wealth,” she says.
“Pairing a next gen with an adviser of a similar age, for example, may help foster a more trusted, long-term relationship. They may also be more trusting of an adviser who is not their parents’ adviser, encouraging them to offer their views freely on matters and in family meetings and business decisions.
“It also gives them a safe space where they can bounce views around without someone reporting back to their parent straight after the meeting.”
NEXT GEN TRUSTEES
Ian Rumens, who leads Ocorian’s private client team in Jersey, takes a similar line. He argues that as those in the next generation inherit, there may be a temptation for them to find another wealth manager – particularly if those who have handled the family’s affairs are closer in age to the parents than the inheritors.
“If you want to keep the client, you need to have the next generation of trustees coming through who have already built up a trusting relationship with the client,” he says.
Dominique Burnett, Trust Director at Fairway, insists that having the correct advisers in place is
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crucial to the successful transfer of wealth. “Organisations that can provide a multifaceted approach will be best placed to attract large family offices,” she says.
“To look at the Middle East as a region, there are large numbers of family-owned businesses that are ill-prepared for the transfer of wealth, with no clear succession plan put in place.
“Compounding this are forced heirship and Shariah principles, and that means service providers need to use legislative changes to their advantage and be nimble in their approach.”
Burnett insists the working relationship between trusted advisers and service providers needs to be aligned as early as possible to capitalise on these structuring opportunities.
“Trust companies will play a major role in the smooth transfer of wealth between generations. It is important that robust and legally enforceable structures are used as part of the solution, so that there is a clear and concise plan ahead of any inheritance or gift,” she says.
It is imperative that wealth advisers move with the times and adapt to changing preferences and needs, according to Ozouf. She argues that the next generation see
the world differently and have different appetites for risk, lifestyle, diversity and financial needs than their predecessors.
“This next generation is known to have a more environmentally conscious outlook, being driven by a growing interest in societal and ecological concerns. They care about diversity and inclusion, and this plays out in their business decisions,” Ozouf adds.
Burnett echoes this point. “ESG is a fundamental pillar of any next generation investment strategy. We are finding that the focus has very much shifted towards ethical investing.
“We are seeing an increased number of clients looking specifically for ESG strategic portfolios when they establish asset holding structures. Wealth managers can attract business by implementing their own ESG strategies, setting an example in the way they conduct business.”
Philanthropy and ESG issues will receive more funding from all sectors as a result of this. And Wood at FCM points out that as more family offices are created, they will tend to have a philanthropic bias when wealth has been made.
However, the downside of the Great Wealth Transfer is that not all of those inheriting this wealth will use it wisely. As Wood points out: “There is an expectation that those who inherit wealth have the expertise to manage these assets, which is simply not true.
“Even the most qualified individuals may not seek adequate advice and succumb to spurious financial marketing that is always too good to be true.”
Poor investment choices can happen. And inexperienced investors may chase higher returns to cover previous losses.
“There will always be people who want to live for now and not look to maintain wealth for future generations,” Wood adds. “For example, if the first generation creates wealth and the subsequent generation spends it, it may last another generation if the pot is big enough. But without prudent financial advice, even the largest sums can evaporate in the blink of an eye.”
Whether the conversation is with the next gen or Baby Boomers, for the adviser there is a balancing act around being frank and also understanding the sensitivity of the situation.
Rumens warns about the dangers of family conflict if financial decisions are
The next generation see the world differently and have different appetites for risk, lifestyle, diversity and financial needs
not handled carefully – which aligns with the earlier point about building a trusted relationship with the client.
Rumens explains: “It is very difficult to talk about death – it is a taboo subject in many Asian countries. We will often start the conversation with the next generation, and it is increasingly the case in Asia that the inheritors lead the process.
“There is often a need for piercing and uncomfortable questions to be asked – for instance, concerning the sustainability of the family business. Is it fit for purpose? Will it provide the desired lifestyle for family members in future years? It is often a case of managing expectations.”
Millennials have grown up as digital natives. As Ozouf points out, advisers must adopt digital capabilities and solutions to support service delivery, strengthen resilience and drive efficiencies if they are to retain next gen clients.
Those in the next generation are accustomed to ultra-efficient processes. When a client can open a bank account by clicking an app, it creates an expectation
that other financial services can be accessed as quickly and simply.
Burnett says: “Organisations will need to provide excellent client service and invest heavily in technology that can provide enhanced onboarding, data management and reporting capability.
“We are already seeing some investment managers providing an outsourced chief information officer service, which perhaps was unthinkable 10 years ago.”
Marina Mauger, Executive Director of Guernsey fiduciary business HFL, views things similarly. “With the world becoming ever more digitally oriented, the wealth management sector will have to continually adapt to changing customer behaviours and preferences,” she says.
“Instant access to information and advisers is critical for this generation and firms must adapt their reporting and communication methods to meet these new expectations. In order to do so, firms will need to embrace and invest in new and emerging technologies to continue to provide the best possible service to clients as the Great Wealth Transfer accelerates over the coming years.” n
Climate pressures and taxes
As the COP27 conference demonstrated last year, there will be increasing pressure on the developed world to take responsibility for the advance of climate change and to help support and protect poorer countries from the increasingly catastrophic effects of a warming planet.
Collas Crill Partner Kellyann Ozouf explains that, ultimately, this will mean redressing the balance of wealth between the world’s richest and poorest countries (and people).
“Western governments are likely to impose additional lifestyle taxes, such as frequent flyer, emissions or carbon levies, on individuals and businesses – not only to divert capital into sustainability initiatives but also in a bid to tackle unsustainable behaviours.”
She says the urgency around climate change is very much reflected in discussions with clients who are increasingly wishing to explore greener, more sustainable investment choices. They feel it’s the right thing to do, irrespective of the financial upsides perhaps initially not being as great as if they made other investment choices.
“I have already witnessed the change in attitude between what we call the first gen and the second gen of entrepreneurial families from a tax perspective,” she says.
“One client opted to stay in a high-tax jurisdiction, when relocating to Jersey could have saved them millions in tax in the short to medium term. The client wanted to pay the tax, rather than let tax regimes in the offshore world dictate the client’s choice of jurisdiction to reside in.
“We also have clients – being the next gen – who are actively looking to invest in ventilation and air quality.”
The downside of the Great Wealth Transfer is that not all of those inheriting will use it wisely
the ultimate wealth destroyer?
the impact of inflation
INVESTING INVOLVES PUTTING money aside today for what is usually an uncertain future return over an uncertain time horizon. When both uncertainty and time are involved, invariably there will be potential risks arising, both known and unknown.
Financial markets are seemingly fraught with risk and will always tend to be preoccupied with a few in particular. Brexit, China, the global financial crisis, Covid-19 and the Ukraine-Russia war are just a few of the more recent concerns.
While such events are undoubtedly frightening at the time, and can cause high market volatility and wealth destruction, nothing destroys wealth greater in the long term than the markets’ current principal fear – inflation.
This might not seem the case when inflation is benign, as it has been in the UK and US for the past few decades. One need only look at countries that have experienced hyperinflation to witness the devastation it can cause, most notably in Germany’s Weimar Republic before World War II (allowing Hitler’s ascension),
Zimbabwe in the early 2000s and more recently in Venezuela.
In each case, the population’s savings were lost, sometimes, almost overnight, due to the destruction of their purchasing power. This is why the independent central banks of the world, such as the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve, have a mandate to control inflation, in both cases at a target of 2% per annum.
But even benign inflation destroys wealth over time. Until 2022, UK inflation has averaged around this 2% target for the past 30 years, so had you just sat on cash and not invested it, its value in real terms today would be around half – a 50% wealth destruction over 30 years.
However, if the current high rate of inflation were to persist over the longer term, this wealth destruction would be much more severe. A 10% inflation rate would lead to the value of your wealth halving in just seven years.
It is hardly surprising, then, that at this pace of real earnings decline, trade unions and public services are opting for the picket line.
Some inflation is welcomed. Indeed, during recent decades, central banks have
been much more concerned with avoiding a deflationary debt spiral, such as has been experienced by Japan for more than 20 years.
In his regular updates, Ravenscroft Chief Investment Officer Kevin Boscher has highlighted many long-term, secular disinflationary trends, such as ageing demographics, globalisation and technological advancement, not to mention population decline. The latter has been a particular problem for Japan and is now being experienced by rapidly developing nations such as China.
Deflation represents a potentially bigger problem for heavily indebted countries such as Japan, as debt is fixed in nominal terms, while assets and their income fluctuate but would typically lose value in such a scenario.
As such, central banks will err on the side of inflation in order to encourage economic growth and reduce the real debt burden of elevated national debt.
It involves a careful balancing act but, after recent crises, it seems central banks have steered too far into inflationary monetary policies to avoid both economic decline and deflation.
Following the Covid-19 shock, the Fed alone pumped some $4trn of additional dollars into the system via a mechanism called quantitative easing, which artificially lowers bond yields and so borrowing costs.
Given that the base of investable assets does not change much from year to year, the effect of this has been to cause asset price bubbles in bonds, cryptocurrencies, equities and property.
When combined with major fiscal stimulus – governments ran large deficits in the aftermath of Covid-19, together with a commodity price shock caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – a 40-year cycle of generally low inflation and progressively lower interest rates has ended.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
The impact on financial markets has been profound and in 2022 we witnessed the painful unwinding of these asset bubbles as interest rates increased and liquidity was pulled from the system.
The return of inflation has major implications on how we invest going
forward but, from a wealth management perspective, there are some positives.
Most importantly, the return one can now get for a given level of risk is higher. For example, one can get a higher return on cash today than would have been achieved from government bonds and many corporate bonds a year ago, while some high-yield bonds now offer an almost equity-like return.
We consider cash and bonds to be increasingly investable but should be mindful that they usually provide a nominal return, which, if less than inflation, could still result in a negative annual real yield.
Equities and property on the other hand are so-called real assets, for which prices and returns may grow with inflation.
Certain equities are particularly correlated with inflation, most notably energy, financials, food retail and raw materials. These sectors are heavily represented in the UK index and help account for the FTSE 100’s significant outperformance in 2022.
However, being ‘old economy’ stocks,
they remain unfashionable, under-owned and undervalued relative to both their own history and the broader market.
This is reflected by UK equities falling to just a 4% share of the MSCI World Equity Index, compared with a longer term average of 8%.
By contrast, in 2021 US equities peaked at 70% of the MSCI World, a huge concentration for one country.
Interestingly, the last time UK equities meaningfully outperformed their highflying US counterparts was in similar inflationary times in the 1970s and 1980s (for ‘nifty fifty’ read ‘FAANGS’).
In recent months, we have witnessed a resurgence of not just the UK but other unpopular major stock markets, such as China and Japan. Perhaps inflation will herald a changing of the guard for equity market leadership. n
has major implications on how we invest going forward – but from a wealth management perspective
Spreading the wealth
THE CHANNEL ISLANDS has a wellhoned reputation as an international financial centre, supported by some of the most sophisticated legal, investment and administrative services in the world.
Much of that resource and effort is focused on institutional clients; but on the private client side it is skewed heavily towards high-net-worth (HNW) individuals – or those who are much wealthier than the average citizen.
But what of the remainder of the population – those whose assets are comparably scant and who may have a much more fleeting appreciation of the value, let alone the mechanics, of investing?
Some firms are increasingly seeking to break down the barriers in front of such people, to offer services that are accessible to all. These firms are adopting a far more inclusive approach to finances than conventional private wealth managers and family office providers.
And there are compelling reasons to do so, according to Richard Hughes, CEO, International, of London Stock Exchangelisted investment manager Brooks Macdonald, which has been active in the Channel Islands for more than 10 years.
“We all need the money that we earn and save over time to last longer and work harder for us, because we’re living longer,” he explains.
When it comes to retirement, he adds, there has been a sea change – people can
no longer rely on the state, and final salary pensions accrued from working for the same employer over many years are an increasingly scarce commodity.
People may have other objectives, such as paying school fees or buying a home, and in any of these cases they will struggle to do so without planning and investing.
That means people need to take charge –take ownership of their own affairs.
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
The need to build up a good pension pot is clear. Maintaining a minimum standard of living in retirement now costs £12,800 per year – up from £10,900 last year, thanks to inflation – according to the industry body the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.
It estimates the price of a ‘comfortable’ retirement is £37,300 per year – up by £3,700. To achieve this higher income, the PLSA says you would need a pension pot of around £645,000. Compound returns mean that those who plan and start investing when they are younger have a much better chance of meeting their objectives.
Yet research by the People’s Partnership pension scheme last year suggests that 63% of individuals in the UK aren’t saving enough to meet their retirement target; a figure that rises to 68% of Generation X workers (born between 1965 and 1980) and 76% of Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996).
Wealth strategies and investment vehicles have for a long time been targeted at the rich. But a growing savviness among consumers and a potentially untapped market for financial services firms means they are turning their attention to ‘Joe average’
Education is an important first step to getting more people investing their surplus money to reach their financial objectives
The savings and investments picture in the Channel Islands is similar to that in mainland UK, says Hughes.
Clearly, education in financial matters is an important first step to getting more people investing their surplus money to reach their financial objectives, and it is something that schools have not traditionally provided.
“From an early stage, there is a complete lack of formal education around financial matters,” says Hughes. “Whether that’s the pitfalls of debt, the power of saving and investment, that’s just non-existent in formal education.”
However, that situation is changing as financial firms reach out into schools and the community.
Carmen Tyler, St Helier-based Head of Investment Solutions at Spring IM, says: “Our CEO, Simon O’Donoghue, who is Chairman of the Channel Islands Wealth Management Association, regularly works with local schools to provide education in financial literacy in young adults.
“They are the next generation of investors and face greater challenges than perhaps their parents did.”
HSBC is another company that has made a firm commitment to improving consumer education.
“Financial literacy is an area of real focus for us,” says Cameron Senior, Interim Head of Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man. “We’ve introduced a number of measures
in recent times – from producing financial literacy worksheets and online hubs for school children, to creating materials for adults, and introducing a dedicated online Wealth Insights hub for those wanting to explore more sophisticated options and trends in the market.”
Brooks Macdonald is also involved in outreach to schools, including a partnership with Jersey Cricket.
Hughes emphasises the importance of adopting innovative strategies to engage young people – using gamification, for example, or competitive fantasy footballtype approaches to encourage people to build a portfolio.
A second plank in the effort to make investment open to everyone is the removal of barriers and the development of products and services with wider appeal and relevance.
There are different approaches to this. For Brooks Macdonald, acquiring the Jersey-based investment funds business of Lloyds Bank International in 2020 was an important step.
“Being a member of a larger collective fund enables you to have a much lower entry level for investors,” explains Hughes. The business has made it possible for individuals to invest with as little as £1,000
of initial investment and regular payments of just £100.
“That’s given us the ability to address a much broader market in the islands and further afield,” Hughes says.
A further part of the puzzle is ensuring that relatively novice investors fully understand the risks, which can be achieved with the help of smart technology.
Brooks Macdonald also works with employers to make its funds available to employees. “We think employers have a responsibility to provide these solutions to their employees, so we make our funds available routinely to those who are putting together savings schemes and pension schemes,” adds Hughes.
Auto-enrolment is on the way and, from 1 January 2024, employers in Guernsey will have an obligation to make provision for pension savings for their employees.
HSBC has taken a much more DIY approach with its International Investment Centre, which is designed to open up a broad range of self-executed investment opportunities to island and international expat customers.
“It is quite a unique platform among high-street banks, providing access to hundreds of funds, including HSBC and third-party funds, and a number of ESG
Compared with HNWIs, less wealthy investors may not be hugely profitable to investment firms – but there are far more of them
funds – and giving customers the choice of making regular or lump sum payments and enabling them to track their investment on an easy-to-use dashboard,” explains Senior.
Carmen Tyler at Spring IM adds: “We purpose-built our entire offering to be inclusive. Our application form is online so everyone can access it.
“If someone prefers to meet us in person, then they still can. We have no upfront fees, no set-up costs, no exit costs and a low annual management fee based on the size of the assets placed with us. What we’ve done is open the world of investing for everyone.”
THE RISK FACTOR
Managing the risk of those who have relatively fewer assets compared with high-net-worth individuals is an issue, because the less you have, the less you can afford to lose.
“Those who are less wealthy are likely to have only one investment account – certainly fewer than someone who’s significantly wealthier,” says Tyler.
“If you are investing an individual’s entire savings pot you need to consider this as their entire net worth.”
Hughes says the age of the investor needs to be taken into account. “We have a range of risk-rated funds stretching from the lowest risk, lowest equity content defensive portfolio, all the way through to growth, which is high equity content. The right answer for the individual is largely dependent on the timetable.”
A 25-year-old saving for retirement 40 or 50 years later could afford to take on a higher degree of risk than someone about to retire, or saving for a new home, Hughes points out. Compared with HNWIs, less wealthy investors may not be hugely profitable to investment firms. But there are far more of them.
As Carmen Tyler points out: “Over time, through regular saving, a little can turn into a lot very fast.”
And from HSBC’s perspective, there is a mutual self-interest, as Cameron Senior explains. “We recognise that it’s important for us as a bank to support all aspects of our island communities – and it makes a lot of sense for us, too. Because if we can support people through the initial building blocks of their wealth journey, then we can continue to support them as their ambitions and life goals change.” n
Managing the risk of those who have relatively fewer assets compared with HNW individuals is an issue
A Matter of Trust
More and more family offices are setting up Private Trust Companies to look after their increasingly complex affairs. So what exactly are they? and how can they help all family members from young to old?
THE COVID PANDEMIC led to many of us changing long-held habits, from how we worked and studied to where we live.
This period of reassessment, along with an ever-increasingly complex asset landscape, has also altered how wealthy families manage their money.
“The easiest form of holding family assets is via the use of a family investment holding company,” explains Richard Joynt, Head of Family Office at Highvern in Jersey. “However, if the family consists of numerous people and they have a communal set of investments, a company is not ideal from an estate planning point of view because if one of them dies, the shares go into their estate. The rest of the family have to wait for that person’s estate to be settled before they know what is happening to their core shareholding.
“It is why many advisers will tell families to put a trust on top, holding the communal assets. If someone dies, it does not trigger anything on the estate side.”
When it comes to trusts, the traditional approach taken by family offices has been to appoint a professional trust company as the trustees. Family leaders have valued the administrative and financial management expertise that these organisations have built up from handling all different types and sizes of trust.
However, across the globe, in particular the US and jurisdictions such as Jersey and Guernsey – which provide the option –more family offices are embracing a rival structure: the private trust company (PTC).
THE TECHNICAL BIT
A PTC is set up by families to house and provide bespoke trustee services for either a specific or a group of their trusts.
That is all it does. It is not commercial in the sense that it looks to attract business from other families, as is the case with professional trust businesses. It is a company limited by shares.
It can be owned by the head of the family outright. Alternatively – as is more often the case, to avoid issues around personal ownership, such as the death of that family member – it is run by an ‘orphan’ purpose trust. Its main purpose is to own the shares in the trust and provide trust services to underlying trusts in the structure.
A PTC must be administered by a licensed fiduciary, but it is generally exempt from the full licensing requirements applying to trust businesses in many jurisdictions. So, for a Guernsey PTC, an exemption from licensing should be available provided it meets certain criteria, including being administered by a licensed fiduciary and not advertising or marketing its services to the public.
Since 2000, Jersey PTCs have been exempt from the requirement to register as a trust company business given that they meet criteria such as being administered by a registered person.
The board of the PTC making the key strategic decisions includes family members as well as trusted advisers and independent professionals such as lawyers and bankers.
“It allows families to have people on the board with more specialist capabilities,” says Alex Dean, UK Head of Private Wealth at IQ-EQ.
“You may, for example, want to invest in private equity in the future, so getting a PE investment expert on your board means that when opportunities arise they can be expertly analysed and scrutinised.”
Some PTC structures may also have a ‘protector’ role – someone who can appoint and remove trustees and even veto key decisions, such as capital distribution from the trust. There can also be an ‘appointor’, who can remove a protector and appoint successors.
The biggest benefit of the PTC structure is the control that it gives family offices relating to issues that affect their wealth and assets, such as investment and distribution decisions.
This is why PTCs are particularly popular with families from the Middle East and Asia. They are not as culturally comfortable with the trust concept, including ceding control to professional trustees based in often distant jurisdictions.
Henry Kierulf, Head of Active Wealth, Jersey at Zedra, explains: “With the engagement of a Channel Islands service provider to assist with administration and corporate governance, not to mention independent trustee expertise, a PTC provides the infrastructure from which clear processes and procedures can be implemented, providing the family with clarity and certainty over decision-making.
“Having your own trust company means you are dealing exclusively with your own assets. Control is a huge advantage, it is top of the list. If you don’t have a PTC then you don’t have control – the trustee has it.”
A PTC also allows segregation of family assets, but with a commonality of approach and governance. This means creating a diversified trust fund, which might include cash, private equity, operating businesses and luxury assets.
“What we see sometimes is that you have different pots within the PTC structure,” Kierulf adds.
“One division might be for liquid investments, one for property/real estate, and another that might be more direct investment, such as PE. Some families have their businesses as part of the structure as well. It boosts asset protection.”
Another benefit of a PTC is that by involving younger members of the family in the decision-making, maybe a board position, it helps with succession planning.
“The younger generation can get more involved in the family assets and how they are managed. More senior family members can pass on their expertise and experience to them,” says Kierulf.
“A lot of families build up their wealth in a structured manner but in some cases the strategic objectives of the family are lost. Getting the next generation in early helps keep that identity. They understand how the wealth is created and how to take an active interest to sustain that for the future. The younger generation can also help evolve thinking such as advocating more ESG investment strategies.”
Other benefits include usually quicker decision-making than with a professional
trust company and more privacy, given that ownership of the PTC can remain confidential when structured using a purpose trust. Existing family trusts can also be transferred to the PTC to further boost control.
Joynt says a PTC can also help families –and Jersey itself – manage the thorny issue of regulation and governance.
“There are some complications and fine lines that family offices need to navigate in Jersey around regulation. I’ve been on a couple of working groups discussing whether it would be helpful if there was a specific type of licence that family offices could get in Jersey so their status could be more easily found out,” he says.
“In its last visit, MONEYVAL raised the issue of the lack of family office regulation – because most are only performing services for one family – and how the Jersey government and the regulator managed that. How do they know that these families are not going to do something which is going to bring Jersey into disrepute?
“One of the advantages of a PTC is that it will have to have a relationship with a trust company provider. It will be able to point to that level of regulation. Providers such as us bring that regulatory comfort and oversight.”
Joynt says the attraction of PTCs reflects an increase in the level of knowledge and financial sophistication within families over the past 20 years.
“They are less likely to hand over their money to a JP Morgan and then ask for a report once a year to find out how their
Having your own trust company means you are dealing exclusively with your own assets... If you don’t have a PTC you don’t have control, the trustee has it
investments are doing,” he says. “Now, they want to take a more active interest in managing their own investments. If you are doing that then you really need some governance framework on top.”
Indeed, Dean says families are faced with an ever-increasing choice and complexity of assets. “It has made families want to have more control, analysis and decision-making power on individual assets,” he says. “So they want to have that expertise within their own PTC.”
Kierulf points to the impact of Covid-19 on PTC usage. “There are a number of families who were in the process of setting up PTCs but had not made them active. But after Covid-19, people started to become more aware of their mortality and to expect the unexpected. They wanted more control,” he says.
NOT ALL PLAIN SAILING
There are challenges involved, of course –particularly in the cost of setting up a PTC, which involves creating the trusts and incorporating a company. However, the annual costs are often significantly lower than if a public trust company runs the trusts.
“The flipside of the PTC is the price,” agrees Kierulf. “The people you need to employ, the service providers – they all make it typically more expensive. Usually, you need to be an ultra-high-net-worth family with around £100m in assets before it becomes worthwhile.”
Joynt says another concern could be the emergence of conflict of interests if family members on the board also “wear other hats further down the structure” – such as being a beneficiary or having a role in a family business. “This could lead to family disputes,” he warns.
Kierulf says good governance is essential. “You need good guidelines and parameters on how the PTC will operate, including how to deal with disputes,” he says.
“You need to adhere to a set of rules, not just transactionally but also the philosophy of the strategy and asset management. How do you evolve with changes such as more ESG investing and avoid family disagreements? Those rules of engagement need to be well thought out, with no room for ambiguity – who is responsible for what and what are the change mechanisms if needed?”
Robert Moore, Director, UK, Jersey Finance, adds: “It is worth noting that having a PTC in place can also give rise to potential questions around ownership and
control, so families need to work closely with their advisers to ensure the structure is established in a professional manner, adhering to the appropriate legal and tax advice in addition to ongoing health checks to ensure the structure remains fit for purpose. The required involvement of a regulated entity would also ensure this.”
One less expensive option open to cautious families is a private trust foundation. This acts as a trustee to one trust or a group of family trusts and is an ‘orphan entity’ with no members or shareholders. This therefore avoids the double-layered structure of a PTC with a purpose trust.
“Both are legal entities and bespoke trustees – and have similar advantages,” explains Elena Gogh, Guernsey-based Partner at Bedell Cristin: “A foundation avoids the complexity and cost associated with the double company structure. It is simpler and we’ve found that it has been a competitive and real alternative for families in Guernsey.”
Moore, however, adds: “A foundation must have one or more of its council members who is a regulated entity. A company acting as a PTC does not have this requirement – although it must be administered by a regulated entity.
“A foundation will also require a guardian, which may increase the complexity and cost.”
Dean expects the number of PTCs to keep growing, with Jersey and Guernsey seeing a good share of business.
“They are both well-established players with well-established legal frameworks,” he says. “You are dealing with very large families with varying and complex requirements, which are best served by centres of excellence.” n
The rules of engagement need to be well thought out, with no room for ambiguity – Who is responsible for what, what are the change mechanisms
Where to invest
A possible global recession, supply issues caused by the conflict in Ukraine, tensions between the US and China… All these have combined to disrupt worldwide investing trends. So what are likely to be the staple investing areas going forward?
Words: Gill Wadsworth TECHNOLOGY STOCKS TOOK a nosedive last year – with the shares of big-name companies ranging from Tesla to Google and Amazon shedding market value as investors made a call on the possible impact of a recession on other industry disruptors.
The S&P 500 Information Technology index fell 18% in the 12 months to the end of January 2023. This was largely led by Elon Musk’s Tesla, which dropped from an April high of $381.82 per share to $108.10 at the start of this year.
That story was broadly replicated at Amazon, where share prices plummeted from March 2022 highs of $169.32 to $81.82 on 28 December.
But while some of the tech darlings have suffered setbacks, other stocks in the disruptive and innovative technology sector have continued to offer investors some genuine opportunities.
Lei Qiu, Portfolio Manager for Disruptive Innovation Equities at AllianceBernstein, who has responsibility for the global disruptors and international technology portfolios, says: “The market for technology is changing, innovation is broadening, and new areas of leadership are emerging. Investors who search for growth in the right places can find some exciting opportunities.”
PATH TO NET ZERO
In particular, the companies focused on supporting the global transition to net zero are the ones that are attracting investor attention right now.
PwC’s State of Climate Tech Report 2022 revealed that the sector’s share of investment last year “hovered at historic highs”. It found that climate tech investment in the 12 months to the third
quarter of 2022 represented more than a quarter of every venture capital dollar invested – a greater proportion than 12 of the prior 16 quarters.
And inflows into climate tech bucked the overall slowdown in the venture capital market. PwC reported that climate tech investment in the 12 months up to and including the most recent financial quarter represented 26% of overall invested equity.
Such investments are sorely needed if the world is to achieve the $4trn-$5trn in annual investment that the International Energy Agency predicts is needed to achieve net zero by 2050.
Leonie Kelly, Ogier’s Global Head of Sustainable Investment Consulting, based in Hong Kong, says investing in climate solutions across different industrial sectors is “essential to society’s collective mission to reach net zero emissions”.
“Investors are becoming more interested in addressing climate change issues through their targeted investments,” she says.
“Capital is quickly chasing opportunities such as renewables, electric vehicles, green hydrogen, sustainable agriculture and more – all will be an essential part of decarbonisation pathway. Some of the technologies created will be central in propelling the transition to net zero.”
Global initiatives have emerged to strengthen the demand for climate tech solutions, allowing investors to fund the scaling up of emerging start-ups.
These include the First Movers Coalition, which is “harnessing the purchasing power” of companies to decarbonise seven “hard to abate” industrial sectors that currently account for 30% of global emissions.
Investors expect these initiatives to drive increased investment and growth in climate
tech, and PwC says it is “already seeing early signs of impact”.
However, Dasha Kuts, Senior Manager, Sustainable Investment Consulting, at Ogier, believes that investors should look past the world of renewables in the pursuit of putting their money to work in the climate tech sector.
“Achieving net zero will require rapid change and large-scale technology development and deployment across industries,” she says.
“The transition will create investment opportunities to build new businesses, products and systems.”
Among the new products and systems are those offering meat alternatives.
According to the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR) Initiative, alternative protein companies raised $1.7bn in the first half of 2022, demonstrating a stable growth rate of 2% compared with the first half of 2021.
FAIRR says that even within the current geopolitical and market volatility context, there has not been a significant investment regression. And for the first time, investment in cultivated technologies in the second quarter of 2022 exceeded those from plant-based, with $500m and $237m raised, respectively.
These investments were spearheaded by $400m into Upside Foods, a US-based cultivated meat company.
Bev Stewart, Director of Family Office at Stonehage Fleming in Jersey, says: “There is
considerable investor interest in supporting companies that are moving away from animal production.
“There have been significant advances in cellular agriculture, where businesses are focusing on producing high-quality gelatine and collagen from cells instead of animals.”
Stewart also notes an interest in vegan alternatives to the honey industry, which could be lucrative given that the traditional sector is worth $8.17bn and predicted to grow to $14bn by 2025.
American food tech firm MeliBio is planning to launch its bee-free honey, which is made from microbial fermentation, across Europe this year.
Digital technology plays a critical part in transforming business. Industrial companies in the automotive, energy and construction sectors are just starting to use systems that provide help managing physical assets and connect disparate parts of value chains.
In a December 2022 Morgan Stanley research paper on technology investing, Bjoern Crombach, a banker who specialises in industrial software, highlighted numerous opportunities for industrials to increase efficiency.
“Industrial companies are demanding software that helps manage their different stages of day-to-day business,” Crombach said. “Private companies are offering a number of promising solutions, and attracting the attention of large public companies interested in acquisitions.”
AllianceBernstein’s Qui adds that digital technology is of paramount importance
Every company that wants to thrive in a digital world must strategically address its technology infrastructure
to every sector, not just industrial. “Every company that wants to survive and thrive in a digital world must strategically address its technology infrastructure,” she says.
“As a result, we believe that demand for advanced infrastructure technology will persist, even in a bleak economic environment.”
Technology businesses themselves also need to make advances with the support of private investment.
Kuts says: “Technology companies that work on making their datacentres more sustainable are exploring green hydrogen and what such technologies might entail.
“So there are some immediate and some longer term opportunities depending on scientific breakthrough.”
Alongside the need to green the world of tech, there is also an opportunity to invest in ensuring the safety of the data held by the software giants.
Research from Avast – which looks at venture capital money going into the privacy sector since the year 2000 – found that $6.53bn has been invested in the top 25 best-funded privacy companies.
Stewart says consumers are not just concerned about data protection; they also want greater control of access to their personal information.
“There’s been a loss of control of data, with the big global companies collecting data and turning it into a commodity,” Stewart says. “Consumers are asking how they can take back control of their data, which in turn presents investment opportunity in privacy technologies.”
At the same time, regulators are paying close attention, with more than 100 countries now enacting privacy laws. The UK is set to join them, with the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill likely to become law this year.
It seems there are plenty of opportunities to put capital to work in the innovative and disruptive technology sector.
Stewart, however, warns that this is not for the faint-hearted. “Investments are typically made at the early stage through venture capital, so investors must have a very high appetite for risk,” she says. “These are start-ups that could shoot the lights out or they could fail.
“As a result, we tend to see quite small ticket sizes of around $250,000 – some of them will work out and some won’t.” n
There is considerable investor interest in supporting companies that are moving away from animal production
LPA s – the why, when and how
One in three people over 65 will develop dementia and, every 90 seconds, someone in the UK is admitted to hospital with an acquired brain injury. But while an estimated 40% of the adult population has a will, less than 1% has a Lasting Power of Attorney. Three experts spell out why this needs addressing
ABRAHAM LINCOLN ONCE said: “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Anyone who realises the benefits of dealing with what’s immediately in front of us, instead of endlessly fretting about getting it done, will agree. And preparing before an event takes place is even better.
That’s certainly something to consider if an individual is likely to lose mental capacity in future. It’s a predicament that throws up many questions. Who will make business and financial decisions for them? And does the individual know enough about how a financial adviser makes decisions to allow them to take the reins?
This is where a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) comes into play. LPAs were introduced in the UK in 2007 as part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They replaced the previous system of Enduring Power of Attorney that had been in place since 1986. In Jersey, however, LPAs were only introduced in 2018 as part of The Capacity and Self-Determination (Jersey) Law 2016. And in Guernsey, residents have only been able to put LPAs in place since April 2022.
“LPAs are an excellent tool that enable islanders to take additional estate planning steps,” says Henry Wickham, Head of Estate Planning, Wills and Probate at Ogier. “They allow the donor to exert more control over their future if it comes to a point where they can no longer express their choices and wishes due to incapacity of some form.
“In Jersey and Guernsey, LPAs enable a person to appoint someone else to make decisions on their behalf in respect of their property and affairs, and their health and welfare,” Wickham continues. “Ultimately, they allow individuals to plan for their
future and put in place arrangements to support them at a time when they may no longer have the capacity to make decisions for themselves.”
LPA IN PRACTICE
Under an LPA, the ‘donor’ – the person behind the LPA – can provide their ‘attorney’ with concise instructions and preferences that outline their wishes. An attorney must adhere to any instructions provided; the preferences are used as guidelines that the attorney should regard when making decisions.
Wickham offers some examples. “Instructions for an LPA for property and affairs might see me saying my attorney must always consult a financial adviser before investing more than £20,000, or that they must consult with my daughter or son before selling my property,” he explains.
“A preference, meanwhile, might see me saying that I’d like my attorney to donate the sum of £250 per year to an animal charity or invest in ethical funds.
“Meanwhile, instructions for an LPA for health and welfare might include me stating that my attorney must ensure that I am fed
a vegetarian diet, or that they should not make the decision to put me into a care home unless it is the opinion of my doctor that I am no longer able to live at home.
“But a preference could be me saying that I’d like to continue to exercise in the form of yoga and swimming for as long as I am able to do so and as long as it is of benefit to me.
“Another example might be me stating my care home of choice should I need to reside in one at some point.”
Wickham also explains that, while LPAs in Jersey and Guernsey are very similar, there are minor differences in some of the terminology used. “In Jersey, the person who appoints their powers is known as a donor, but in Guernsey they are known as a grantor,” he says.
“There are no noticeable differences between Jersey and Guernsey LPAs and their UK counterpart,” he continues. “This is not surprising, as Jersey’s and Guernsey’s respective capacity laws, which provide the legal framework for the islands’ LPAs, were heavily influenced by the English Mental Capacity Act 2005. However, it’s worth noting that UK LPAs can be registered in
the person behind the LPA can provide their attorney with concise instructions, and preferences that outline their wishes
Jersey or Guernsey, and so take effect as a local Jersey or Guernsey LPA.”
“Anyone who has capacity and is over the age of 16 can do an LPA,” adds Ian Dyer, Associate Director (Care) at Law At Work. “Most of us shouldn’t lose capacity – and if we do it would hopefully only be in the later stage of life. This is when we become more susceptible to conditions such as dementia or strokes.
“But you never know what’s going to happen. Life can be risky and, sadly, anyone can lose capacity at any time. So my advice would be for as many people as possible to write their LPAs, and to get them registered – because then the people making decisions on your behalf are the people you trusted to do it.”
“We see so many situations where someone should have put a plan in place,” says Victoria Grogan, Group Partner in the International Private Client and Trusts team at Collas Crill. “But now their capacity is waning and they’re no longer in a position to do so.”
So, what happens if you do lose capacity and don’t have an LPA?
“The Royal Court would appoint a delegate,” says Dyer. “If my wife were to lose capacity and if she didn’t have an LPA, I would probably apply to be the delegate for my wife. But I would need to demonstrate to the Royal Court that I
was of good standing and such like. And, depending on the assets you have, the Royal Court could appoint a professional delegate from a law firm.”
Grogan adds: “When you’re working on these documents, it’s key to talk about your wishes to the person you’re appointing as your attorney. The health and welfare LPA in particular can bring up some tough subject matters – like your wishes around and views on resuscitation and lifesustaining treatment.
Dyer explains that people can stipulate substitute attorneys. “If I, for example, had my wife as my attorney for my health and welfare LPA, I might put my eldest son or daughter as my substitute attorney in case something happened to my wife and she either wasn’t around or didn’t have capacity herself to make decisions when I needed her to.”
Grogan concludes by stressing how easy LPAs are to enact, but that they are often forced exchanges that people would rather shy away from. “Once you’ve done one, that’s it – you can forget about it. You’ve ticked that box. They don’t take much time and are fairly inexpensive.
“But perhaps there’s a bit of a taboo around them – we’re British after all, which means that these kinds of conversations don’t come naturally to us. But they shouldn’t feel awkward, either. We should be having these sorts of discussions – about our own wants and wishes – regularly.” n
there’s a bit of a taboo around LPA s –we’re British after all, which means that these kinds of conversations don’t come naturally to us
Meet Pierpaolo, he’s one of three Masters of Wine here at Waitrose & Partners. He and his team spend their lives searching the planet to find the best wines for our customers. Think of them as your very own sommeliers. Because every single wine we sell has been hand-picked by them.
MORE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INTO SPACE THAN HAVE PASSED THE MASTER OF WINE EXAMPierpaolo, Partner & Head of Wine Buying
The fastest-growing job in the UK is Customer Success Consultant, followed by Sustainability Manager and Product Operations Manager. That’s according to LinkedIn’s Jobs on the Rise list, which also puts Security Operations Centre Analyst and Chief Growth Officer among the most indemand roles from employers. According to LinkedIn, some 20 million Brits are considering changing jobs in 2023, with 50% saying that they are confident of finding a new position. Jobs involving climate change are among the fastest growing sectors in many countries, with Sustainability Manager also featuring in the Jobs on the Rise lists in 13 countries, including in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia and the US.
The world’s largest aeroplane has completed a record-breaking test flight, remaining aloft for six hours above California’s Mojave Desert. The Stratolaunch Roc carrier plane is designed to carry and launch hypersonic planes, and is capable of lifting a payload of 220 tonnes. Its wingspan is 383 feet or 117 metres – longer than an American football field – and the aircraft is powered by six Boeing 747 engines. It is the ninth test flight for the Stratolaunch Roc, which first flew in 2017, and has twin fuselages resembling a catamaran.
A new study has found that people who work all day sitting down can significantly boost their health by taking regular short walks during the day. The research, by Keith Diaz, Associate Professor of Behavioral Medicine at Columbia University in the US, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, involved 11 healthy middle-aged and older adults sitting in a lab for eight hours over five separate days. On one day the participants got up from their desk only to use the toilet; on other days light walking strategies were tried out. A five-minute walk every half-hour was found to be the best strategy, reducing the blood sugar spike after eating by almost 60% and bringing mental health benefits.
Dodgy roads may soon become a thing of the past after JCB launched a new vehicle that the company says can fix potholes in just eight minutes at a cost of £30. The Pothole Pro comes with three attachments to cut, crop and clean, and can be operated by a single driver. All that is needed is to add tar. It has already fixed more than 23,000 potholes in trials and is set to be marketed around the world. According to the RAC, the state of roads in the UK has been deteriorating markedly over the past 15 years, with one third of all roads in England now in need of urgent maintenance. The Pothole Index suggests drivers are about 1.5 times more likely to suffer a pothole-related breakdown than they were in 2006.
Scientists at the University of Leeds claim to have worked out why chocolate tastes so good. The research team from the School of Food Science and Nutrition and the School of Mechanical Engineering decoded the physical process that takes place in the mouth when chocolate is eaten, as it changes from a solid into the smooth emulsion many people love. The unique chocolate sensation, they concluded, arises from the way the chocolate is lubricated, in which the ingredients combine with saliva and cocoa particles are released. It’s hoped the research will lead to the development of a new generation of luxury chocolate that will have the same feel and texture but will be healthier to consume.
on the spectrum
Untypical: How the world isn’t built for autistic people and what we should all do about itby Pete Wharmby (Mudlark, £16.99, hardback)
Written by someone diagnosed as autistic aged 17, the aim of this book is to improve public understanding of this complex condition. Among the everyday challenges those on the autistic spectrum have to contend with – in the workplace and in society – are needless noise, bright flashing lights, small talk, phone calls, unspoken assumptions and unwritten rules. The modern world, says Wharmby, is built for ‘neurotypicals’ and this book aims to provide a handbook for everyone to make the world a simpler, better place for autistic people. He also argues why autism should be placed firmly on the map for those who care about diversity.
finance in the genes
Blue Blood: Cazenove in the age of global bankingby Robert Pickering (White Fox Publishing, £24.99,
From its founding in 1823 by Philip Cazenove, Cazenove & Co became one of the most prestigious stockbroking firms and investment banks in the City of London. The firm’s origins were among the Huguenot financiers who left France in 1685 and later migrated from Geneva to London. Much of its success was down to its ‘blue-blooded’ connections and its reputation for privacy. The family connection remained until 2004, when Bernard Cazenove retired, and the firm remained one of the few stockbrokers to stay independent after the Big Bang in 1986. It eventually listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2001 and subsequently became part of JP Morgan.
Staying the Distance: The lessons from sport that business leaders have been missing by Catherine Baker (Bloomsbury Business, £20, hardback) Catherine Baker qualified as a tennis coach, then embarked on a high-octane career as a City lawyer before deciding to mould the second half of her career around her love of sport and passion for good leadership. She is Founder and Director of the organisation Sport and Beyond and a keynote in many events where the two worlds intersect. This book is very much about what business leaders can learn from sport; not exactly an original topic, but Baker offers her deep-seated understanding of the part that performance can play and how business leaders can learn to improve with lessons gained from a range of sports.
by Vivek Ramaswamy (Swift Press, £10.95, paperback)
The publisher’s notes suggest this book will “make the case that politics has no place in business” and “reveal the defining scam of our century”. Corporate elites, we are told, “sell us cheap social causes and skin-deep identities to satisfy our hunger for a cause and our search for meaning, at a moment when we lack both”. Author and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has gone a step further in the effort to uphold his premise: he’s launched two exchange-traded funds that will put pressure on companies to drop their ESG pledges. Cynics might see this as a contrived strategy to win publicity through notoriety. In this book – which came out in paperback last July – he describes ‘woke’ moral principles as a set of quasireligious rules imposed on society without its consent. Companies make money from consumers who have no say in the matter. At the very least, it is contrarian.
Teens guide to launching a business
This guide, from Shout Out UK, sets out how to identify your passion, build a network and write a business plan. It advises: “As a teenager, you may face unique challenges when starting a business. You may need more financial resources and life experience or business knowledge. You may also have to balance your business commitments with school...” tinyurl.com/26fb8y2h
In numbers: coal
Number of years of recoverable coal reserves still in the ground in the US
Source: US Energy Information Administration
% of the world’s proven coal reserves in the US, the world’s biggest repository
Source: US Energy Information Administration
The Flight Story fund
Steven Bartlett has launched a $100m fund to help the next generation of businesses aiming for a $1bn valuation and Unicorn status – “timed to exploit the dislocation and disruption in the economy”. It will target investments of $1m-$10m in companies in six categories: blockchain, biotech, health and wellbeing, commerce, technology and space. stevenbartlett.com/flight-story/
% of the world’s energy resource produced from coal – the biggest contribution
Source: World Coal Association
Paris Olympic Games Hospitality
Olympic Games Paris 2024 has launched its hospitality programme, selling tickets to the public via an online portal. The Paris 2024 organising committee, with hospitality provider On Location, has developed an e-commerce platform offering hospitality products, experiences and customisable packages to would-be spectators. Packages offer guaranteed tickets to events, hotel accommodation, transportation and experiences during the competition or in the city. olympics.com/en/paris-2024/ticketing-and-hospitality-promotion
% share of global fossil fuel carbon emissions produced from coal in 2022 – the biggest contribution
Source: Carbon Brief
Wellbeing white paper
Accor’s Health to Wealth programme has published a white paper highlighting the key trends in wellbeing and offering advice to businesses on how to make wellbeing a greater priority. The topics covered include a wide spectrum spanning the link between body and mind, measurement, finance, inclusiveness, the environment and cultural differences. group.accor.com/en/Actualites/2023/01/ health-to-wealth-white-paper-wellbeing
Millions of tonnes of coal produced worldwide in 2022 (forecast)
Source: Mining Technology
How to… ... Cut down on meetings
Meetings, meetings, meetings. They seem to take up an inordinate amount of your people’s time. Everyone complains about them and yet they seem to proliferate without control – even more so now that it’s possible to schedule meetings on Zoom and Teams without people needing to be in the same place. So what could you do to reduce the time your organisation spends in meetings, and to work more efficiently?
The first step is to think carefully about which meetings are really necessary – rather than simply scheduling meetings as a matter of routine. According to Benjamin Laker, Professor of Leadership at Henley Business School, good reasons for holding a meeting include reviewing work that’s happened to find out what worked; clarifying and validating policies and goals; and distributing work among your team. Think about whether other goals could be achieved without a meeting – perhaps by individuals contributing in their own time.
Prune the invite list
On a similar note, once you’ve decided to hold a meeting, think carefully about who absolutely needs to be there. If any individual isn’t required or expected to contribute, they can be sent a postmeeting briefing to keep them informed as to what was said, and ensure they are in the loop.
Reduce the meeting time
Meetings that are shorter are better for everyone, says Dave
Parry, Managing Director of growth marketing agency
WellMeadow Consulting. Long, ineffectual meetings are a waste of everyone’s time. There’s no magic bullet for keeping meetings short, says Parry, but “having a focused agenda, preparing information ahead of time and using accurate timekeeping will all work to reduce meeting time while maximising productivity.” You could even set an alarm.
Assign no-meeting days
No-meeting days allow employees to plough on with work and communicate with their colleagues only when convenient, rather than being restricted by a formal and inflexible itinerary, according to Professor Vijay Pereira at NEOMA Business School. He carried out research among 76 companies that have done this to find out what impact it has had. “We found that making at least one day meeting-free every week was enough to improve autonomy, communication, engagement and satisfaction in the workforce, which in turn increased productivity,” says Pereira. “Additional benefits were decreased stress and a lower prevalence of micromanaging behaviour.”
Have a clear agenda
An agenda is essential to scope what the meeting will cover and in what order. “If there’s no agenda, then you should
“Having a focused agenda, preparing information ahead of time, using accurate time-keeping – this will reduce meeting time while maximising productivity”
reschedule or cancel the meeting,” suggests Matt Green, Head of Growth at compliance training organisation Skillcast. He adds: “Share the agenda before the meeting to ensure attendees are prepared and can offer feedback.”
Meet standing up
Stand-up meetings encourage people to be brief and concise, and to be focused on the matter in hand. They should typically last no more than 15 minutes because they don’t allow people to settle down in a comfortable position. Miles Burke, who founded employee engagement company 6Q in Australia, puts forward a number of dos and don’ts, including: make sure everyone literally stands up by holding the meeting in a room with no tables and chairs; never allow devices; and pass around an object to signal who is speaking.
Let people cancel
Finally, establish a culture where people are allowed to cancel meetings or to drop out if they don’t have time or don’t feel the need to attend. Encourage your teams to find alternative ways to achieve the same results.
Business leaders on making it to the top
Alex Noel, Director of Mergers and Acquisitions, Suntera Global
You started your career at PwC. What did you gain there? Training as a Chartered Accountant in Jersey gave me a good insight into the assurance and advisory worlds from a local perspective – what makes businesses tick. Also having the opportunity to work in London in the corporate finance team helped broaden my horizons. I’ve been able to draw on all that experience in the M&A work I do now.
What’s the appeal of M&A and what skills do you need?
It’s fascinating to see how different businesses operate – their approach, culture, people – and explore how they might be a good fit for our own business and help it grow. It’s so varied and each day is different. I spend a lot of time on the phone or on Teams negotiating and finetuning details with lawyers and advisers – so good communication skills, attention to detail and a little bit of patience are key.
Is accountancy a good basis for a broader range of careers?
It certainly gave me a good foundation to build on – having access to different businesses to see how they work. Undoubtedly accountancy can take you in a range of directions.
You were recently shortlisted for IoD Jersey Young Director of the Year. What is the benefit of getting that recognition?
It was a fantastic surprise – but it’s been great for the team here too. We’ve been on a bit of a growth journey over the past few years, and recognition for the M&A work we’ve been doing is a confidence boost.
As a cricket player, have you learned anything from that sport that’s proved useful in your working life?
There’s definitely the teamwork aspect – but also, cricket is all about calculated decision-making and being able to adapt. Should I go for that boundary shot or do I play it safe and protect my teammates? You can apply that mentality to the corporate world too – we do a huge amount of research, but you still need to think on your feet, assess the lay of the land, and decide what the best next step is.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be bold and have confidence in your decisions, and be open to exploring different areas. M&A probably wasn’t on my radar as a career choice when I started out in accountancy, but being open to going down a different path has ended up being a great result for me.
At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in Switzerland this January, while countless thought leaders turned up to take the rostrum and spout their latest opinions about the world’s great challenges, one person was in the background quietly pulling the strings.
Klaus Schwab is the 84-year old founder and chairman of WEF, arguably the most influential – and powerful – talking shop in the globe. And while media pundits refer satirically to the so-called Davos Man – a figure whose annual attendance and self-publicity is virtually guaranteed –it is probably Schwab himself who has the best claim to the moniker.
Schwab was born in Ravensburg in 1938 and took doctorates in engineering and economics followed by an MBA at Harvard before coming up with the idea to launch the ultimate business forum in 1971.
Entrepreneurship and in 2004, the Forum of the Young Global Leaders. In many respects, Schwab himself can be seen as an early champion of globalisation, while the content of the WEF’s deliberations is broadly progressive in nature, seizing early on issues such as climate change and diversity.
Schwab’s own writings have revolved largely around the subject of multi-stakeholder capitalism, in which all stakeholders – not just shareholders – have a say in how enterprises are run.
Schwab espouses multi-stakeholder capitalism – all have a say in how enterprises are run
The WEF was founded as an ‘international organisation for public-private co-operation’ with a commitment to improving the state of the world. It soon became a fixture on the calendar of many of the world’s top movers and shakers.
In 1998 Schwab added the Foundation for Social
JARGON BUSTER Crypto Winter
In 2016, he published The Fourth Industrial Revolution, a book that espouses the view that the coming era will be defined by breakthroughs in a wide range of technologies. Its four main channels are the internet of things, cyber-physical systems, on-demand computer resource and cognitive computing.
The WEF now employs more than 700 people, with 1,000 corporate partners, revenues of more than £300m and a string of events to complement the Davos conference around the world.
Yet Schwab has been criticised for acting autonomously and failing to create a credible succession plan. The big question is: who will take over from Davos Man?
‘Winter is coming’. The first episode of series 1 of Game of Thrones coined the ominous message that something bad was going to happen. Now the cryptocracy has adopted Crypto Winter to describe a world in which Bitcoin, Ethereum and the like are well down in value, even staring into the abyss. Cryptocurrencies had a torrid time in 2022, falling from a collective market cap of $2.2bn at the start to $800m by year’s end. That followed a boom in 2020 and 2021, initially down to changing monetary policy around the world, which also hit assets like technology shares. The collapse of cryptoexchange FTX in November represented the nadir, leading some to question the future of crypto as an asset class, and leading us into full winter mode. Crypto Winter is analogous to a bear market in equities and other traditional securities, defined as a 20% peak-totrough correction. There is no similar metric for Crypto Winter but the challenges posed are roughly analogous. Should you take profits/ cut losses when you can? Or move to the less volatile crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin? Some believe that crypto gloom will only be alleviated when regulation comes to digital assets. And that, of course, would be the first sign of Crypto Spring.
ALSO NEW IN THE WORLD OF Polycrisis
Economic and political crisis on many interlocking dimensions simultaneously
WITH THE LAUNCH OF CHATGPT LAST YEAR, WE ENTERED A NEW LEVEL OF SOFTWARE SOPHISTICATION THAT THREATENS TO PUT HUMANS WELL AND TRULY ON THE BACK FOOT
One product had everybody talking at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January – the artificial intelligence app ChatGPT. This product, launched last November, is commonly described as a chatbot – a piece of software that can simulate human conversation.
We’re all familiar with such features on websites, where they are deployed to provide a crude level of customer service and direct you to a ready-prepared set of questions and answers. What’s made people sit up and pay attention to ChatGPT is its sophistication, both in terms of the range of its knowledge and the articulate nature of its responses. OpenAI, the San Francisco-based company that created ChatGPT – Elon Musk is a founder – quickly saw its value pushed up to $29bn.
The area in which ChatGPT rapidly gained notoriety was in writing students’ school or college essays. What’s more, it is completely free during a trial period.
That has prompted universities and schools to ban its use on the grounds of cheating, and there have even been attempts to develop apps that can detect the use of ChatGPT. New York City’s school authorities blocked access to the app on devices and networks used by students.
But the potential use of chatbot software like ChatGPT goes way beyond that. The Guardian was quick to observe: “Professors, programmers and journalists could all be out of a job in a few years after the latest chatbot from the OpenAI foundation stunned onlookers with its writing ability, proficiency at complex tasks and ease of use.” As well as essays, ChatGPT can write poems, songs and short stories and has been touted as a rival search engine to Google.
Among the advanced features that ChatGPT uses are the ability to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate
requests. It has been trained to achieve each of these using a technique called Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF), in which human feedback in the training loop helps to minimise harmful, untruthful, and/or biased outputs.
Advanced chatbots are an example of what is known as Generative AI – broadly speaking, any type of artificial intelligence (AI) that can be used to create new text, images, video, audio, code or synthetic data.
Not surprisingly, given its game-changing nature, rivals to OpenAI have stepped up the pace in developing their own competitive products. Google has announced its own product called Bard, based on Google’s existing large language model Lamda, which one engineer described as being so human-like in its responses that he believed it was sentient.
Google has also invested $300m in a firm called Anthropic, which is developing a rival to ChatGPT. Meta, owner of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, has launched its AI chatbot Blenderbot. And there are rumours abroad that Microsoft has done a deal with OpenAI to pair the chatbot with its search engine Bing.
China’s Baidu is also in the game with its product Wenxin Yiyan (in Chinese) or ERNIE Bot (in English), which will launch in March.
Many experts believe these products demonstrate that AI has reached a new phase where it is capable of being widely applied in the real world and will start to replace humans in a number of jobs. Among the occupations that have been identified as most at risk from the advent of chatbots are journalists, lawyers, market researchers, teachers, financial advisers, traders, graphic designers, accountants and customer service agents.
That’s a very large swathe of white-collar work that could soon succumb to the likes of ChatGPT.
emits a blue light onto your ceiling which you can synchronise with your breathing to help you sleep.
Who holds the world’s wealth?
The wealth pyramid reveals that the vast majority of wealth is held by a tiny minority of the world’s population
The Global Wealth Pyramid
An overview of global wealth distribution in 2021
As Messrs Musk, Bezos, Gates, Ellison and Buffet see their profiles and notoriety rise, the scale of their wealth – both individually and collectively – is often compared with whole nations’ GDPs.
And, even in the face of some dramatic losses among the world’s top billionaires and a volatile wealth environment over the past 12 to 18 months, the level of financial inequality in the world is quite staggering when shown in the most recent ‘wealth pyramid’.
According to the latest Credit Suisse wealth report,
released in 2022, 47.8% of global household wealth is in the hands of just 1.2% of the world’s population. Those 62.5 million individuals control a staggering $221.7trn, as the infographic above shows.
Below that, 627 million people own $176.5trn, 38.1% of global wealth, despite accounting for just 11.8% of the adult population. The base of the pyramid is the most poignant, showing how 2.8 billion people (53.2% of the world’s population) share a combined wealth of $5trn – which is just 1.1% of total global wealth.
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