PAM Guide to Wealth Management

Checklist of questions to ask a private wealth adviser

Here is a checklist of questions you should ask when choosing a private wealth manager:

  • What experience does the private wealth manager have?
  • What are their qualifications?
  • When was the firm founded?
  • Has the ownership changed over time?
  • Does the firm provide independent and objective advice for clients? Does the wealth manager have captive (in-house) investment products? Do clients have to use these products?
  • Is there a dedicated relationship manager? Who is the backup in case the relationship manager is out of the office?
  • How frequently does the adviser talk to or visit clients?
  • Does the adviser have regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings with clients?
  • Could anyone besides you benefit from the adviser's recommendations?
  • How does the firm charge for its services? Can the wealth manager provide a list of all fees? How and when are fees paid?
  • Is there a minimum account size or fee requirement?
  • How does the fee structure differ for different client types?
  • Does the firm offer any performance-related fees?
  • Does the firm accept fees from any other service providers? Under what circumstances and how is this disclosed to clients? Are these fees rebated to clients?
  • How many clients does each relationship manager have?
  • How many new clients has the firm added and lost in each of the past three years?
  • Has the firm or adviser ever been publicly disciplined for any unlawful or unethical actions in their professional career?
  • What kind of client education does the wealth manager provide?
  • Does the firm publish research for its clients' benefit?
  • Does the firm provide electronic versions of client reports? Do clients have online access to its reports?
  • Can the adviser describe its typical client profile? Do they specialise in looking after particular types of client?
  • Will the adviser provide references from existing clients?
  • How many employees work at the firm?
  • Ask for a written agreement of the services to be provided.

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The PAM Directory is a comprehensive guide on comparative data focusing on asset managers, investment managers, private banks, stockbrokers, wealth managers and multi-family offices, who provide discretionary and/or advisory portfolio management services for private clients.

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