The Great Relationship Transfer: Thinking Beyond Assets

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$84 trillion in assets…

That’s how much wealth will be transferred from one generation to the next by 2045 according to Cerulli Associates.

This transfer of wealth – The Great Wealth Transfer – marks the largest transfer of wealth in history.

Yet, there’s so much more at play here than the wealth part.

With this transfer of wealth, comes an evolutionary shift in the framework of advice, financial planning, and how wealth professionals engage with their clients.

Perhaps most importantly, though, is that this transfer of wealth boils down to one key thing; relationships.

Relationships with existing clients and building, nurturing, and investing in relationships with the next generation.

This is exactly why we need to flip our thinking and approach on its head. Leading with wealth seems far too ‘transactional’ given what’s on the line here.

It’s time to shift our thinking from The Great Wealth Transfer to The Great Relationship Transfer.

A relationship-led approach forces us to re-evaluate client engagement strategies and existing service models. This approach advocates for a comprehensive and hyper-personalized multi-generational interaction paradigm, where attention is not solely on the primary wealth holder but extends to younger generations and non-conventional stakeholders.

A 2020 McKinsey & Company report underscores this evolving role of financial advisors, envisioning them as holistic life/wealth coaches who guide clients across a spectrum of needs including investments, banking, healthcare, taxes, estate planning, and broader financial wellness by 2030. This reimagined role places dialogue and education at the heart of financial advisory, highlighting the critical importance of building strong, enduring relationships.

We are already seeing a MASSIVE shift towards this “advisor 3.0” and it is clearly evident in the emergence of new service models across the industry, and notably the delivery of white-glove, family-office offerings, in addition to the shift we’ve seen toward fee-based billing and advice-led models over that of traditional AUM.

Today’s modern wealth professional excels in navigating the complex relational dynamics associated with decisions and behaviors well beyond “finance”, transitioning from traditional advisory capacities to becoming facilitators of meaningful dialogue, understanding, and trust.

This is a very consistent view from our team when it comes to Digital Vaults and how Client Life Management positions the modern advisor to thrive by being relevant and instrumental through the entire relationship with a client – from onboarding and engaging all aspects of a client’s financial, business, and personal life to wealth transfer strategies, legacy planning and establishing relationships with G2 and G3.

This level of value and engagement adds a competitive business alpha — a digital moat strategy — to your firm where you can engender more trust, access additional family members or centers of influence, and develop a highly referable business. It is really about creating an environment where you are building loyalty across a family, across generations.

This is The Great Relationship Transfer.

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