Wealth management is a holistic approach to financial planning, encompassing investment management, tax planning, property planning and risk management, which is essential for maximising returns while minimising risk. [1] [2]. As professionals, wealth managers offer bespoke financial and investment advice based on clients' unique circumstances and aspirations, giving them access to a wide range of investment opportunities and financial products. [1] [2].

They play a crucial role in helping clients identify potential blind spots and develop strategies to mitigate risks, particularly in the areas of finance, inheritance, property and investments, ensuring tax optimisation and effective inheritance planning. [1] [2].

The main tasks of an asset manager

The main tasks of a wealth manager encompass a variety of responsibilities essential to ensuring the financial health and growth of their clients' wealth:

  1. Asset audit Carrying out an audit of personal assets to assess the client's financial situation, including an analysis of investments, insurance and retirement plans. [9].
  2. Definition of Investor Profile Understand the client's risk tolerance and investment objectives in order to draw up a precise investor profile. [9].
  3. Customised Wealth Strategy Proposal of a personalised asset strategy based on the client's investor profile, including recommendations on asset allocation, diversification and investment strategies. [9].
  4. Follow-up of Investment Actions Continuous monitoring of the investment actions implemented to ensure that the investment strategy is performing as expected, adjusting strategies as necessary to align investments with the client's objectives. [9].
  5. Consultations with Customers Regular consultations to assess risk tolerance, carry out market analysis and provide financial forecasts, ensuring that advice remains relevant and up to date. [10].

These missions underline the importance of a holistic and personalised approach to wealth management, closely aligning financial strategies with each client's unique goals and aspirations. [9] [10].

The advantages of working with an asset manager

Working with an asset manager brings a number of significant advantages:

  • Multidisciplinary expertise and personalised support Wealth managers offer professional expertise in a variety of financial areas, enabling a personalised approach tailored to each stage of a client's life, whether it involves wealth accumulation, protection, managing a loved one's affairs, converting wealth into retirement income, or transferring wealth to heirs. [11] [12].
  • Tax optimisation and portfolio diversification They help create a diversified portfolio, minimising risk while maximising returns. In addition, they offer tax-efficient strategies, enabling clients to save on taxes. [13] [14].
  • Access to Exclusive Investment Opportunities Wealth managers provide access to a wide range of investment opportunities, some of which are not available to individual investors, optimising clients' wealth and assets for greater returns and reduced risk. [12][13].

Why and when should you call on the services of an asset manager?

Calling on a wealth manager (CGP) makes sense in a number of situations, particularly to benefit from multidisciplinary expertise and personalised monitoring. Here are a few key reasons why:

  • Comprehensive expertise A CGP has expertise in a variety of areas, including property, tax, law, pensions, life insurance, financial investments and data protection. [15]. This expertise enables us to take a holistic approach to wealth management.
  • Confidentiality and reliability The relationship between the independent financial advisor and the client is based on mutual trust and a long-term approach, ensuring the confidentiality of asset information. [15]. The independent financial advisor uses specialised software to obtain an overall view of the client's wealth and financial situation, making it easier to establish a complete diagnosis and define a customised optimisation strategy. [15].
  • Monitoring and adaptation The wealth profile, objectives and strategy of clients change over time. The independent financial advisor provides regular support for his clients, offering appropriate monitoring and keeping them informed of regulatory changes, market developments and the adjustments needed to achieve their wealth management objectives. [15]. In addition, the IFA must provide clear, accurate and non-misleading information on the products offered, including performance, risks and liquidity, and offer a diversified range of financial instruments. [15].

These factors underline the importance of working with an independent financial advisor for effective, personalised wealth management tailored to the specific needs of each client.

Preparing and protecting family assets

Preparing and protecting family assets is essential to ensure that they are passed on smoothly to future generations. Here are some key strategies:

  • Protection for surviving spouses :
    • Use of universal community with full attribution clause [20].
    • Last will and testamentary disposition to strengthen spouses' rights [20].
  • Life insurance as a means of providing for the future :
    • Advantages: flexible contributions, available capital, adaptability to performance and risk, and tax advantages for inheritance. [20].
    • Objectives: building up capital, preparing for retirement, financing children's education, protecting your spouse, etc. [20].
  • Managing and calculating family assets :
    • Key items: property (primary and secondary residences, rental properties), financial assets (cash, shares, bonds, life insurance), and valuables (art, collections). [21].
    • Importance of the family residence: must be of a family nature, either by mutual agreement or by becoming the family's habitual residence [22].

Valuation and Wealth Strategy

Wealth assessment and strategy are crucial stages in wealth management, requiring both a quantitative and qualitative approach for a complete analysis. [26].

  • Quantitative approach:
    • Property valuation: Use of the asset valuation method to calculate the net value of assets by subtracting debts [24].
    • AdjustmentsBalance sheet correction and adjustment, including revaluation of assets and integration of hidden liabilities [24].
    • LimitationsDoes not always reflect economic potential, less relevant for companies with declining results or high economic potential. [24].
  • Qualitative approach:
    • Personal objectives: Defining personal objectives for financial security, including investments, taxation, retirement, pension provision and the transfer of assets [25].
    • Targets by age groupSaving and acquiring a principal residence (65 years) [25].

The use of the asset balance sheet as a tool by wealth management advisers enables information to be gathered and analysed from different angles, providing a clear and detailed overview of all assets, making it easier to take future investment decisions and optimise existing wealth. [26].

Tax and legal optimisation

Tax and legal optimisation is an essential pillar of wealth management, enabling individuals to maximise their financial benefits while complying with current legislation. Here are some key strategies:

  • Financial Capitalisation Strategies :
    • Life insurance and PEAs to defer taxation [28].
    • Optimising property wealth tax (Impôt sur la Fortune Immobilière - IFI) through ownership stripping and investment in professional property assets [29].
  • Rental Income Management :
    • Choice between bare or furnished renting or consideration of renting as a commercial activity to impact tax obligations [28].
    • Déficit Foncier solution to reduce tax on rental income by deducting the cost of renovating rental properties from your rental income [30].
  • Tax exemption mechanisms :
    • The Pinel Law and Pinel Overseas for property investments that enable you to reduce your income tax by buying and renting a new or renovated property. [28] [30].
    • Girardin Industriel, financing equipment for businesses in overseas territories in exchange for a tax reduction [30].

These strategies, which often require the involvement of professionals such as accountants, solicitors or lawyers, underline the importance of financial, tax and legal knowledge for effective wealth optimisation. [28].

Estate Planning and Family Protection

Estate planning and family protection are essential components of wealth management, ensuring that capital in all its forms is preserved and effectively passed on to future generations. There are three key areas to consider:

  1. Preparing the Heirs :
    • Developing financial literacy, business skills, leadership and decision-making skills [31].
    • Customised training, exposure to various business functions and leadership development programmes [32].
  2. Communication and Family Dynamics :
    • Effective communication, appropriate adjustment, flexibility and definition of new roles for the older generation [31].
    • Managing family dynamics with tact, promoting open and honest communication, and prioritising the health of the business [32].
  3. Legal and financial aspects :
    • Valuation by experts such as accountants, lawyers and business consultants [32].
    • Key elements of a business succession plan including transition timing, identification of successors, valuation of the business, tax planning, a buy-sell agreement and contingency planning [33].

These strategies require an integrated and proactive approach, ensuring not only the continued viability of the business but also the protection of the family's heritage and legacy. [31] [32] [33].

Conclusion

Over the course of this article, we have explored in depth the vital role of wealth managers, highlighting their multi-disciplinary expertise and how they shape wealth strategies to meet the unique needs of each client. The use of a wealth manager has proven to be indispensable for wealth auditing, defining personalised investment strategies, tax optimisation and much more, underlining the importance of their role in protecting and growing family wealth.

The prospect of succession planning and family protection further reinforces the idea that wealth management is a holistic approach, requiring a series of well thought-out strategies to preserve and effectively transfer wealth to future generations. Ultimately, this article highlights the complexity of wealth management while underlining the crucial importance of engaging a professional to guide you through the twists and turns of finance, tax and inheritance, ensuring the security and lasting prosperity of your family's wealth.

FAQs

What exactly does an asset manager do?

The role of an asset manager is to market high-value financial products such as life insurance, pensions, loans and property tax exemption. They can also offer more unique solutions, such as investing in works of art, metals, precious stones or antiques.

What does the average wealth manager earn?

At the start of their career, wealth management advisers can expect a salary of €30,000 a year. With several years' experience and after deciding to work for themselves, this salary can rise to €90,000 a year.

Why should I consult a wealth management adviser?

Consulting a wealth management adviser is beneficial for identifying financial investments that match your personal situation and life goals. Although life insurance policies are the favourite investment of the French, their returns are tending to fall, making professional advice even more valuable.

How much does it cost to hire an asset manager?

The commission received by an asset manager varies according to the sector. Property developers pay between 4% and 8% of the sale price, while fund or life insurance managers pay commissions ranging from 2% to 5%.

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