3 Reasons Business Leaders Don’t Trust Their Wealth Manager

3 Reasons Business Leaders Don’t Trust Their Wealth Manager

It’s interesting how often business leaders struggle to fully trust the manager and advisor of their wealth – the person overseeing and guiding most, if not all, of their financial details. Like anything, there are differing degrees of relational impact caused by trust issues, but the three main culprits of a loss of trust are:

  1. Conflicts of interest taint the motivations and recommendations of the advisor.
  2. Business leaders are not able, or prepared, to delegate control to someone else.
  3. The advisor isn’t able to “lead” the business leader in a way that creates confidence and trust.

I believe the impetus for change starts with your wealth manager proactively seeking to have a fierce conversation with you, to discover the quality of the relationship and to make sure trust is building and not declining.

Several months ago I had this type of conversation with a client, and was surprised to find out that much of the relationship misalignment could be resolved with relatively simple communication adjustments. In the end, our client learned more about our investment approach, confidence increased, and the relationship dramatically improved.

If you are a business leader, and are looking to build a strong, trusting relationship with your wealth manager, the following are clues to a relationship heading in the right direction:

  1. Courage to be vulnerable—the advisor takes the risk to ask about the relationship quality, depth, and areas needing improvement.
  2. Holds the relationship loosely—by focusing on your best interests and eliminating conflicts, the wealth manager needs to explore the best outcomes for you even if that means suggesting another advisor or firm that would better serve your needs.
  3. Willing to say I’m sorry—as someone who pursues excellence in what I do, I’m still learning and growing, and at times I make mistakes. As hard as it may be, admitting you had a part in a relationship not working optimally can create authenticity and trust in the relationship.
  4. Acting like a leader—attributes include positive energy, continuous learning and improvement, excellent communication, authenticity, able to inspire, and humility.

In other words, leaders need leaders, or they won’t let go of control when they most need to.

Some of these areas are harder to step into than others.  The wealth management relationship is one of the most important relationships you have. The consequences can be dire if you don’t have a fully functioning and trusting relationship.

Is your wealth management relationship building trust?

John Christianson
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