Lisa Gray, a keynote speaker at the marcus evans Elite Summit 2011, discusses the role that family dynamics play in private wealth management.
Interview with: Lisa Gray, Founder & Managing Member, graymatter STRATEGIES, LLC.
Montreux, Switzerland, February 28, 2011 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“The biggest risks to family wealth emanate from the family itself. Market risks pale in comparison to the role that family dynamics can play,” says Lisa Gray, Founder & Managing Member, graymatter STRATEGIES, LLC. A keynote speaker at the marcus evans Elite Summit 2011 in Montreux, Switzerland, 25 – 27 May, the author of “The New Family Office: Innovative Strategies for Consulting to the Affluent” and “Generational Wealth Management: A Guide for Fostering Global Family Wealth” talks about family dynamics, and generational and behavioural biases.
What is missing in private wealth management today?
Lisa Gray: Family dynamics have a direct impact on the conversations taking place between family members and their advisors. However, nobody seems to recognise this. For advisors to be truly effective today, they must broaden the scope of their thinking in defining excellence in client service.
What are the key concepts discussed in your books? What can the industry gain from your experience?
Lisa Gray: My first book chronicled the history of the family office industry and introduced the issues of family dynamics and the misunderstandings that different generational perspectives create among family members. In my second book, I explore these issues much more deeply and show how they fit into the wealth management continuum.
Generational perspectives influence all of our decisions. Family members’ perceptions are skewed by their individual generational biases. Families often overlook talents and abilities of family members who feel they do not have a voice in family decisions. As a result, intellectual, human, and social assets which could contribute significantly to the family wealth may never be discovered and thus, never materialised.
The real benefit of a consultant is in guiding the family toward solutions which truly fit their needs. Family offices often become overly focused on the investment component and may not realise that the reason they exist is to support families in developing communication and trust between members. That is where the real power of their work lies; their processes should support families’ goals and needs.
Even when they have been appropriately identified, family goals often get lost in the translation to the investment piece. Behavioural biases also skew the translation of the family’s goals. Behavioural finance can be a wonderful tool in aligning asset allocation more directly with the family’s needs.
What investment strategies would you recommend?
Lisa Gray: I would caution people to broaden their consideration of risks. There are three levels of risk: market risks, what all investors go through; the risk of increased regulation, which will change how they do things and increase their costs; and the biggest risk to family wealth, the family itself.
Families and advisors should recognise the deeper sources of risk to the wealth. Family issues often seem to come out of the blue, but in fact the signs were there all along.
Does the issue of family dynamics actually limit investment advisors?
Lisa Gray: I would say the opposite. It makes their work much easier. Awareness of what influences family decisions frees advisors to partner with the family in the decision-making process.
Any final thoughts?
Lisa Gray: Advisors often seem reticent to approach the psychological issues of wealth management but today, they truly have no choice. Not only are markets psychologically based but investors’ responses to markets are also psychological. Behavioural finance, which is becoming increasingly woven into the world of wealth management, is based on the psychological biases of investors. So it is not a stretch to say that an awareness of generational perspectives and family dynamics should be included as a component of the advisory client service spectrum.
Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division
About the Elite Summit 2011
This unique forum will take place at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Montreux, Switzerland, 25 – 27 May 2011. Offering much more than any conference, seminar or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed wealth management industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit addresses the most current wealth management trends, and provides attendees with fresh perspectives on adapting effectively to global changes and opportunities to sustain, grow and preserve family wealth.
For more information please send an email to email@example.com or visit the event website at www.elitesummit.com/media_GTM_lg
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About marcus evans Summits
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