Management Advisor – Know Your Client

The contribution of the external advisors in supporting companies (on business or organizational issues) is open to a continuous dispute. As a professional in that area I would like to contribute to that discussion with the following argument; advisors need to know more about their client.

In the financial world the external advisor is kept to an increasing set of guidelines. Since the problems on the stock-exchange in the beginning of this new century, financial authorities have set out new rules for banks and commissioners and other agents that advise private clients on financial matters. The most important rule is the introduction of client profiles. Such a profile communicates the risk-attitude of the client in the investment process. In this way both the client and the bank (advisor) are aware of the risk that is acceptable. This is a strong management guideline.

Both the bank advisor and the business advisor have a stake in the advice. Banks are said to issue too much BUY advices, whereas business advisors too much dwell on the advice to change things in the business. A change in business is like a financial BUY; it will cost money and the advisor will profit from it.

“Clients are not interested that you tell them not to buy,” is what you hear financial advisors say. It is true. Buying gives hope and expectations. You are in the game and you get excited.

Another argument is that financial advisors should invest for themselves. If not, “how can they be ever good advisors?” This is another argument but there is only a small fundament for it. You could equally argue that if this is true you are facing the risk that you enter a pyramid game. You can better trust the advisor if he is neutral (and not involved). This is why there are Chinese walls; the investment side of the bank and the retail side are not connected.

Neutrality is the best position for the business or management advisor too. If you are selling a package and you advise others to buy it they should at least know that the advice is biased.

Where business advisors can increase their professionalism is in knowing the client’s business and organization. The financial advising industry has past this point, as explained previously: they know the risk profile of the client.

Advisors in business still have a way to go in this sense. There are often two camps. There are those advisors that know everything about (the) business. They have specialized on Logistics or Client Relationship Management. Others are perfectly knowledgeable about the organization, about culture or human resources. The first is the “hard” side, the second the more “softer” side.

If you are hiring a specialist than this shouldn’t matter, the specialist can serve in any area in the company. Advisors on the other hand should know or understand “the company.” This is more than a set of specializations. It is about understanding what they add up to. You might imagine that the business owner knows the business well enough. The contribution of the advisor is to explain where business and organization meet in case of a change (when BUY-ing a new instrument).

When it comes to the advise on a new investment the clients’ profile is important. Different companies will require different solutions on a similar problem. What served one company doesn’t necessarily suits another.
Financial advisors know the risk profile of their client. Management advisors should know about this (risk) profile too. And that is more than (knowing) the manager that hired you.

© 2007 Hans Bool

Investment Management Advisors

Investment management refers to the process of managing money being used for investments. Investment profiles are managed through sound decisions about security purchases and sales. Investment management advisors provide investment management services including money management, investment projections, investment counseling, and investment management planning. Investment management advisors may work as individual entities or may be a part of investment management firms. Those who work for reputable investment management firms are preferred over solo agents because of their credibility and reputation. These agents are usually college degree holders who have gained bachelor degrees in business and also have relevant investment management experience tucked in their belts.

There are two types of investment management advisors, those who offer direct financial advice to individuals or businesses and those who offer asset management for corporate clients. The services offered by investment management advisors are not given for free. The usual rate charged by these advisors varies depending on the project, the monetary investment involved, or the current standing of whom they advise. They also charge higher fees to corporate accounts than they do to individuals because of the sheer complexity of the tasks when catering to larger companies. Their fees may be calculated percentages of the assets gained, annual fees, or even hourly rates.

Investment management advisors are monitored by government run agencies and private investment management associations to ensure the quality of their services. The certifications issued by government agencies and private associations protect investment management advisors and their clients alike. They are subject to laws and regulations governing money management and must meet strict requirements prior to certification and registry as qualified investment management advisors. They work assuring client confidentiality and provide complete disclosure of all investment deals. Most, if not all investment management advisors are also licensed stockbrokers to enable them to carry out investor authorized sales and purchasers.

Should You Find Asset Management Advisors For Your Investments?

Some people who feel that their investments can do better if they have someone else handle it for them often look towards companies that have asset management advisors to take care of their investments for them. The people who do these often find that once they are no longer trying to figure out which investments to make and which ones should be avoided due to the passing of such a responsibility to a company and to people who do these for a living actually find themselves with more time to do more of the things that they want to do and to not worry about the money that they entrust to these companies.

Should you go down the same path yourself and find asset management advisors and professional financial managers to handle your investing and investments for you? The answer to this question usually depends on whether you can find an asset management company near you that you can trust and that can help you achieve the goals you have set yourself to attaining with the money you have saved for your investing purposes. To find the right company and the right advisor for such an endeavor, you may need to go through a number of company portfolios to see what they have to offer and you may need to talk with a few of the advisors these companies have about their possible plans for your assets. You will know whether you should get an asset management company to help you with your investments when you find the one that you feel suits you and your plans well.