Simoney Kyriakou  

The future's young for advisory firms

Simoney Kyriakou

Simoney Kyriakou

Connecting with the younger generation has always been a mantra but now it seems to be a mission among advisory firms, if recent events are anything to go by.

Last week, IFG Group, parent company of advisory firm Saunderson House, issued its half-year results, in which it admitted the firm has struggled to win big clients during the first half of 2018.

As a result, Tony Overy, chief executive of Saunderson House, said the firm was now pledging to home-grow new advisers who can "naturally engage" with younger clients. 

With a slowdown of traditional business, and a huge swathe of money set to flow down through the generations over the next 20 to 30 years, Mr Overy may be onto something. 

Last year, Accenture reported that over the next 30 to 40 years, $30trn in assets will pass from boomers to their heirs in the US alone.

Globally, there is an intergenerational wealth transfer of hundreds of trillions set to percolate through from the oldest, wealthiest billionaires to their grandchildren, across America, Asia and Europe. 

One only needs to look at the Rich Kids of Instagram to see their lifestyles are already reflecting the wealth they are set to inherit: gold-plated Ferraris, $10,000-a-night stays in the royal suites at the Burj-Al-Arab and private jet hires to pop from London to New York to go shopping for the day.

But while this ultra high-net wealth may be out of the reach of most family advisory firms, there's a very real story of 'ordinary millionaires' passing down their pension and property wealth to the next generation in this country.

Baby Boomers have seen the values of their estates rise exponentially thanks to the house price boom; someone is set to benefit from this, and it's likely to be the grandchildren. There's a significant, widespread wealth transfer already going on in our cities and towns and villages.

And who will advise this newly minted generation? Who will benefit from what is being called the world's greatest wealth transfer?

Those advisers who are recognising the future of their business growth may no longer rely on the Grey Pound generation but upon gaining the business of the Young Heirs.

Simoney Kyriakou is deputy editor of Financial Adviser