The four pillars of wealth management

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Author: Stefano Schrievers, Head of Wealth Management, BNL BNP Paribas

December 13, 2021

There are many different ways of interpreting wealth management. On the one hand, there are those who focus on pure and ‘simple’ portfolio management, which is often far from simple. On the other hand, we have the consulting models that consider that service as a commodity, with limited added value. Between the two poles, there are infinite shades. We are inclined to view financial asset management as a solution. And not because that activity has lost its dignity. It remains essential.

However, in a market context like the current one, we are convinced that we need to broaden the analysis. And after all, the customers we turn to have much more complex needs. The synergy at BNP Paribas group level in wealth management is constant and strong, in order to bring the value of a large international group to its Italian clients. There are few pure wealth management players in the Italian market with a dedicated structure and strategy. HNWIs need dedicated offer and service models, but individual requirements must be articulated, because each customer is different from the others.

Our wealth model
A systematic method is needed. At BNL BNP Paribas, the wealth management model has four pillars when it comes to consulting needs: certified quality, integrated vision, effectiveness, and a 360-degree approach. To ensure quality, we have built and launched an ‘excellence academy’ that started in October 2021: an ambitious and concrete initiative, it was developed with SDA Bocconi to certify the quality level of BNL BNP Paribas wealth managers. This is a 24-month training course, developed internally, at the end of which bankers obtain a certification in wealth management, issued by SDA Bocconi. We built it together, but the teachers and the evaluation criteria are from the university’s school of management, one of the most prestigious in Italy. The training course is completed in a series of classes dedicated to analysing a wide array of potential issues identified by the individual operational managers of BNL BNP Paribas. This certification is for every one of our wealth managers; they attend it before receiving their final certification.

An integrated vision
Many of our wealth management clients are entrepreneurs. It does not make much sense to limit yourself to looking only at liquid financial assets, which omits the fact that typically the most important asset of these families is their company, which is sometimes worth much more than their financial assets. Since it is pure risk capital, it must be taken into account when it comes to investments. Above all, the needs of the company must also be considered. For this reason, we will continue to enhance the synergies with BNL’s corporate banking – a necessary choice if we want to look at customers’ assets as a whole. This liaison with corporate business is important and has become increasingly central to our overall approach, paving the way for our local clients to operate at an international level, on a global stage with BNP Paribas Group.

An integrated approach
Our third pillar is a means of organising work in a systematic way, preparing and planning each meeting with clients along with all other associated activities, with a minimum horizon of 15 days. Finally, the correct approach is needed. We are building a network of advisors, wealth planners and credit specialists who work in total support with the banker, developing a relationship founded on shared knowledge. The method we are applying is conceptually based on a very deep analysis of the client’s assets and the role of the wealth manager is now becoming more and more like that of a senior banker, one with an overarching view of a client’s needs. The essential focus must always be on this archipelago of needs in order to develop a healthy working relationship with the client.

Banker remains the relationship owner
In the world of business, being a door opener isn’t just about a sense of responsibility, it’s about being highly attuned and conscious of others, and we manage this at BNPP by bringing quality via a huge span of solutions and services to our clients. We are about to launch a consultancy service that provides the possibility for the client to access all advisory services whenever and however they want, and that is offered on the basis of a pricing that provides for an all-inclusive commission, measured according to the size of their assets.

Furthermore, this offer also allows for a dedicated wealth advisor, who supports the banker with the aim of bringing a specialist view directly to the client. It is just one of the many innovative ways in which we are transforming wealth management to offer transparent and timely advice. Here, value for money is the key.

Certified quality, integrated vision, an effective system and approaching customer needs from every conceivable angle. These are the ways that BNL BNP Paribas are leading the way in its industry.

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