Exploring the Money Maze Podcast Interview with Helen Watson, CEO of Rothschild & Co Wealth Management
Firstly, there’s a lack communication; often families don’t communicate well to the next generation what they’re trying to achieve. Open communication is therefore very important. Secondly, there’s a risk of over complicating things which can leave the next generation confused and without the right structure. Finally, there’s a lack of conviction which can lead to the strategy and consequently the long-term vision not being carried out. What we learn from this is the importance of communication, building trust and confidence in your strategy, all whilst taking the long-term view.
Nevertheless, difficult periods will still exist and it’s the wealth manager’s role to deliver the bad news as well as the good to clients. To avoid difficult conversations and disappointment Watson stresses the importance of managing expectations with clients early on, clearly setting out what they can expect from the portfolio and from you as a wealth manager. This practical approach helps to mitigate any surprises and to uphold the client’s confidence even in such turbulent times.
In the last year wealth managers have benefited from customers investing money they saved during the first year of the pandemic. At one UK-based wealth manager, the boost in investments helped generate gross inflows of new client funds to £18bn last year, an increase of 27% from the year before. This surge in growth, however, is unlikely to continue as turbulence hits financial markets and pandemic recovery wanes. It is expected that growth for the year ahead is to be much smaller at just 7%. The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine has created further turbulence for wealth managers and its clients, with the FTSE 100 falling by 3.8%. The best strategy for dealing with such turbulence lies in staying calm and ensuring its clients’ portfolios are diverse enough to withstand the uncertainty.
Despite an untraditional route into finance - an industry typically known for being largely male dominated - Watson still managed to triumph to the top. She attributes her success to these four factors:
1. Hard work
2. Never thinking anything was beneath her
3. Never being afraid to admit when she didn’t understand something
4. An organised and structured approach
When listening to the interview, what stood out is Watson’s determined and resilient mindset. She discusses how she was told several times that she would never make a broker. However, this didn’t stop her from believing in herself and lobbying until she was finally promoted. As a young woman aspiring to have a career in finance, I found Watson’s attitude incredibly inspiring. The number of female representations at the board level in the financial services still needs a lot more of improvement. In investment management for example only 8% of decision makers are women. The picture in the UK is fortunately better, with it being reported that now a third of all board roles are held by women. This give me much hope.
However, there is still more room for improvement. The Money Maze Podcast is committed to supporting and inspiring more women to break into the financial industry. In honour of their commitment, the MMP is proud to be associated with organisations, such as GAIN and Women in Boards UK, which work hard to boost female representation in finance and beyond.
By Atlanta Peto, part of the Money Maze Podcast Ambassador Programme. Atlanta is a second year Business and Management student at the University of Exeter. She has an active interest in finance and has career aspirations of asset management (in particular wealth management). Atlanta is a keen tennis player previously playing for Berkshire. She’s a part of numerous university societies.
This content does not constitute any form of advice, recommendation, representation, endorsement or arrangement, and should not be used to make any investment decisions. Our full disclaimer is available below.
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