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GUEST ARTICLE: Lombard International Assurance On Wealth Across Generations

Simon Gorbutt, February 23, 2017

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As the wealth planning requirements of wealthy families have become more sophisticated, the value of efficient solutions and experienced counsellors have grown significantly, as this article explains.

The following article from Lombard International Assurance (see a previous interview with that firm by this news service here) examines inter-generational wealth management. The author is Simon Gorbutt, associate director, wealth structuring solutions. This publication is pleased to share these views and invites readers to respond. They can email the editor at tom.burroughes@wealthbriefing.com.

As the lives of high net worth individuals and their families become increasingly multifaceted, so do the strategies they apply to manage their wealth. With growing international lifestyles, global business ventures and a rapidly changing regulatory environment, it is unsurprising to see that more and more of the ultra-wealthy are turning to trusted advisors to help them navigate and manage their legacies effectively. 

As the wealth planning requirements of wealthy families have become more sophisticated, the value of efficient solutions and experienced counsellors have grown significantly as individuals look to guard assets from unnecessary risks.

One common way that advisors do this is to build diverse portfolios that are not reliant on a single solution. So it’s often the case that high net worth and ultra-high net worth families use a combination of insurance, trusts, funds and foundations to protect and conserve their wealth.

Growing concerns
For many high net worth families, the coming years will be the first time that significant wealth has been transferred from one generation to the next. It is expected that ultra-high net worth individuals across the globe will transfer more than $3.9 trillion between generations over the next decade - enough to purchase the 10 largest companies in the world outright. This figure is estimated to rise to more than $16 trillion of assets transferred over the next 30 years (source: Wealth-X and NFP Preparing For Tomorrow: A Report On Family Wealth Transfer 2016).

Furthermore, the authors of the 2016 Capgemini World Wealth Report observe that the impact of wealth transfer will increase significantly over the next decade. Interestingly, 23.2 per cent of respondents under 40 described expertise in estate planning and wealth transfer as one of the most important elements in wealth manager selection, as opposed to only 19.3 per cent for those aged over 60.

Wealth transfer is not only a concern for the individuals but for governments as well, as they are still grappling with the increased mobility of global wealth in a bid to boost transparency. Consequently, we now live in a world where we are seeing new regulation being introduced all the time.

It is little surprise, therefore, that successfully transferring family wealth to the next generation is a growing priority. Yet many clients (and even some consultants) still pay insufficient attention to succession planning. Individuals and their advisors should make sure that they are well informed about the different solutions available. The results of one option will differ from the next, so getting a good understanding of what each can offer is essential.

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