Independence, Incorporated – Why quality of life is a model for business
Quality of life isn’t just a goal. It’s a core value. Just ask our Relationship Managers.
From the beginning, we have always believed there was a better way to serve clients – a fair approach founded on independence, integrity, and service. And we know that many wealth management professionals leave banks to join our team because of that philosophy.
But don’t just take our word for it. We recently asked our Relationship Managers to reflect on our core values and share their own perspectives. The result reminded us of what’s really behind the success of our business model.
“It’s more than work-life balance. The satisfaction and happiness derived from work have a positive impact on my life.”
The impact of independence
Our founders left the banking world in 2003, looking for more freedom to focus entirely on their clients’ best interests. Now, nearly twenty years later, what do our Relationship Managers say? Is that the approach they were looking for when they joined Marcuard Heritage? The answer is an emphatic yes. In fact, the word ‘independence’ came up more than any other – and it was used to describe just about every facet of our business.
For example, our Relationship Managers say that independence means the freedom to manage their day, which leaves them more time for themselves and their clients. One colleague summed it up nicely: “I work when I want and when I need to. I don’t need to rush to the office just because that’s the work schedule.”
Our Relationship Managers also say they feel free from pressure – the stress and anxiety of meeting sales quotas and pushing products they don’t believe are right for their clients. “There’s no undue pressure around performance and internal politics” is a sentiment many share.
Independence also gives Relationship Managers freedom of choice. Independent wealth managers are not tied to one bank, so they face fewer restrictions. Our Relationship Managers welcome the ability to offer their clients a full range of services, from wealth planning to asset management: “We can advise them on the broader context.”
Entrepreneurs vs. employees
Before joining Marcuard Heritage, many of our Relationship Managers considered starting their own business. This entrepreneurial spirit is what attracted them to an independent wealth manager. Some called it a “perfect match” or the “best of both worlds”. Why? Apart from avoiding the hurdles of setting up a new company and acquiring a FINMA licence, self-driven individuals can find much added value at an established independent wealth management organisation. While maintaining ownership of their book of clients, they can tap into risk management systems, economies of scale, and a team of experts. As one colleague put it, “I wanted to join an existing platform with an excellent reputation.”
This model also lets entrepreneurs focus on what they do best: serving their clients. And that’s not going unnoticed: “Many clients notice how much I’m available now – not rushing from one meeting to the next.”.
“I can spend a whole day with clients or prospects.”
Performance vs. pressure
Our Relationship Managers say that our independent and incentive-based approach reduces stress and drives them to excel. With no ties to any one bank, they feel much less pressure to sell and much more motivation to solve. They can take the time to fully understand their clients’ needs and work with our support team to develop the best solutions. One RM got right to the point when asked how our model helps them better serve their clients: “No bosses breathing down my neck, no product pushing.” Another described that common feeling this way: “No ball in my gut before the Monday meeting where everyone reports sales and progress.”
The 50/50 revenue-sharing model plays a role, according to our Relationship Managers. Many indicated that they didn’t believe the top-down sales pressure they had felt at the bank improved results. Our straightforward system based on assets under management is “already a great improvement on my well-being.” Our Relationship Managers also appreciate that it’s transparent, not discretionary like many others, and the same for everyone. “It eliminates internal compensation politics.”
“No bosses breathing down my neck, no product pushing.”
Community vs. conflict of interest
We were also encouraged to hear that the infrastructure behind our approach makes a big difference. For example, we can leverage the expertise of our own team and outside experts – and we can build relationships with many custodian banks across multiple jurisdictions – to develop tailor-made solutions and meet our clients’ individual and often complex needs. There’s no conflict of interest. That brings us together as a community working on behalf of our clients.
Our Relationship Managers appreciate that community as a support system – a team of dedicated experts that works like a think tank. “You are able to manage the assets and needs of your clients holistically without compromising your independence and without any conflict of interest.”
A flat organisation with little hierarchy also contributes to the sense of community. It gives Relationship Managers the direct access to decision-makers they didn’t have before, which also helps them better serve their clients. “My role allows me to be the gatekeeper of my clients’ interests.”
“My role allows me to be the gatekeeper of my clients’ interests.”
The business of being well
Quality of life means many things to many people. But we think everyone would agree that your well-being is essential to your quality of life. For some, that might mean a good balance between their professional and private lives. For others, it could be the freedom and flexibility to work whenever and from wherever. For one of our Relationship Managers, it’s simply “having time for clients and myself without being rushed”.
Whatever quality of life means to you, your independence impacts the level you achieve – your ability to choose and determine your life.
We started Marcuard Heritage to improve the quality of wealth management services. And our success speaks for itself. But sitting down with our Relationship Managers, especially during these trying times, reminds us why our business model is really about improving our quality of life.
Want a better quality of life? Contact us, and let’s talk about your independence.