With the number of High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNI) and individuals growing exponentially, there is a growing need for qualified wealth managers. Wealth management has emerged as an interesting and popular career choice.
According to the Wealth Report 2020 released by Knight Frank LLP, the number of Ultra High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNI) individuals in India is expected to increase by a massive 73 per cent over the next 5 years. However, before delving into building a successful career in wealth management, it’s important to understand what the field is all about.
What is wealth management?
In a nutshell, it pertains to managing and preserving the existing wealth of corporates, institutions, HNI, and UHNI efficiently and identifying opportunities to accumulate more wealth. In a consultative process, wealth management plans are often tailored to suit the clients’ needs. They will need to thoroughly understand their client’s needs, manage their expenses, and invest in areas that align with the client’s goals.
Wealth management as a career: Eligibility
As is the case with most other professions, it requires one to be highly qualified academically. For instance, candidates looking to build a career in this field need to hold a bachelor’s degree in either business, finance, economics, or management and a postgraduate degree in finance or economics, or management. However, to further fuel your career, additional certification courses such as Certified Financial Planner, (CFP), or Chartered Wealth Manager (CWM) will add value to your resume and boost your employability quotient. Professional education platforms offer multiple certification courses in these subjects for candidates to choose from. Additionally, the skills you develop/hone will play an instrumental role in shaping your career.
For efficient handling of the humongous wealth that HNIs or large corporates have accumulated, wealth managers need to possess the ability to comprehend complex information, understand, research, and connect with the clients, and should also have a good knowledge of financial markets. Besides these, critical skills such as communication, presentation, analytical skills, and problem-solving are must-haves. They also need to be digitally savvy with top-notch IT capabilities.
Furthermore, it would also require an entrepreneurial approach, good memory, enthusiasm, discipline, and responsibility. Professionals in the segment, like any other sector, also need to constantly upskill themselves to avoid becoming redundant and stay updated with the latest trends in the market.
Career prospects of a wealth manager
This field is vast with multiple offshoots that allow skilled professionals to find jobs at financial institutions, asset management companies, banks, investment agencies, and fund management firms/consultancies. Professionals in the space also have the scope for becoming financial advisors, financial analysts, business development managers, etc. This is besides the fact that they are often hired by clients for either a short-term or long-term depending on the client’s requirements.
However, since clients prefer to hire professionals with some experience in the finance and planning industry, it is best for those who don’t possess this experience to apply for part-time jobs at finance companies, asset management firms, or investment agencies to gain adequate experience. Industry experience combined with academic qualifications and certifications, and relevant skillsets will magnify a candidate’s employability factor.
With the world rapidly changing, HNIs, UHNIs, and corporates often prefer to entrust the responsibility of asset/wealth management to a trusted, skilled advisor. Candidates looking to take the long but rewarding plunge into the wealth management field will need to equip themselves with the required skillsets and be prepared to upskill to thrive in the increasingly competitive market.
— Written by Nikhil Barshikar, Founder & CEO of Imarticus Learning