“The conversations that wealth managers have with clients need to be much more holistic,” she stresses. Rajan agrees that perhaps that change would come if the industry changes how it incentivises its frontline staff.
“Unfortunately right now, that’s very much dependent on the organisation and how it chooses to compensate its staff,” she says. “An incentive structure, which worked for the clients’ benefits, would work much, much better in the longer term.”
Rajan reiterates the ‘client’s interest’ as a vital driver of how Waterfield Advisors hires its talent. “One of the reasons people want to work with us is because they’re finally able to do the right thing by their clients,” she says.
“I think with every person that I’ve interviewed, there is a sense that there have been moments [with a previous employer] when they have sold a product to a family that they’ve not been happy with,” Rajan says.
When Rajan hires, she looks for people who are looking to build a better bond with their existing clients free of conflict of interest. “The moment that there’s no conflict of interest, there is a freedom that that relationship manager feels vis-a-vis that particular client relationship,” she points out.