29 Finance Monthly. Bank i ng & F i nanc i a l Se r v i ce s As an example, for us in Miura, the word “client” does not exist. Our philosophy is to offer truly personalised service and therefore refer to people as our “guests” and “partners”. It can seem like semantics but it fully reflects our mindset on service. Once we define a structure, we are committed to working together in evaluating alternatives, making decisions, and pivoting if the needs or environment changes. What are the key differences between global and boutique firms? The first and most important difference is that a global firm has thousands of clients from across the globe and within their peer group, they “fight” with other similar companies for clients. Their business model is similar to a wholesaler and the clients are numbers that help drive efficiencies in resources. Regardless of the individuals’ characteristics, they focus on a short-term gain for each customer as they are aware that there will be high turnover as individuals also move from one firm to another looking for better fees. The revenue stream is mostly driven by new structures or dissolved structures that generate fees from the individuals. On the contrary, a boutique firm is looking for a win-win relationship focused on long-term retention as opposed to short-term gain. The firm focuses on the “partner” or “guest” satisfaction that will generate added business. This means that the focus is more on the quality relationship than the quantity. The offering becomes personalised and strives to avoid over costs generated by a mass approach. Another key difference is that often global firms “recommend” solutions that are first and foremost beneficial to the firm. The approach is more about “trends” or “internal interest” than the clients’ benefit. Those firms function under the assumption that clients will leave them sooner or later – they are like “constructors” who build what others recommend in a moment with the materials they have in stock. A boutique firm has different objectives and key performance indicators. Here, the main objective is to drive excellence in the design of the structure and strive to leverage the most sophisticated tools and materials to find an ideal solution for each ‘partner” or “guest”. The wealth planner acts like an architect during the design of the process but then also finds ways to improve and optimise everything once the structure is implemented. The key performance indicator for a boutique firm is the excellence and satisfaction of their partners. Is there a global solution for wealth planning? There isn’t. There can’t be one wealth management solution that will fit every person’s goals and objectives. Each individual is unique and therefore, each solution should be personalised. Some larger organisations try to standardise their solutions and offer global products that drive internal efficiencies, but this does not translate into benefits for the individuals. Do you think that the pandemic, the political turmoil, and the ongoing war in Ukraine make wealth planning more urgent? It’s not so much about urgency as it is about starting now. A good analogy for this is the case for health insurance. When we are healthy, we never think about it but when we need it, we feel extremely grateful that we have it. When we think about wealth planning, some people believe it is still “early” in their lives to discuss it, but the reality is that the sooner we plan for it, the better. What advice would you give to anyone who reads this and is not sure whether they should look for a wealth planning adviser? Everyone needs to start thinking about their wealth as early as possible, especially in the current uncertain environment. Timing is critical so book an appointment with a wealth planning adviser now!