Families need to accept greater complexity and turn to experts for help in simplifying it, according to the Julius Baer’s 2023 Family Barometer, compiled in collaboration with PWC Switzerland.
“For wealthy global families, the past year has only confirmed the greater complexity of the world we currently live in,” it reported. “Geopolitical tensions have intensified, central banks have raised interest rates to contain resurgent inflation and asset prices have corrected.”
The survey found that political stabilityis a major big concern, especially in Asia (16% of respondents), although is only the fourth highest ranked topic for discussion this year on a global basis. In all three regions – Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa – however, geopolitical diversification of assets is top rated investment concern.
The Swiss bank’s family barometer is an annual survey that monitors the shifting opinions of financial services experts who work with and advise wealthy clients. For the 2023 edition, it canvassed more than 1,500 internal and external experts from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas.
Other salient features of rich Asian families include the highest interest in discussing family wealth-related topics with advisers (23%) and placing the strongest importance on philanthropy (14%), compared with those in other regions, while putting relatively less emphasis on family governance (9%) and engaging less in real estate investments (8%) than other regions.
Worldwide, financial advisers participating in this year’s survey found that families are primarily interested in discussing wealth-related matters beyond investments. As they extend beyond their home bases, they need more specialist advice, not only to cater for complexity, but also to manage inherent risks raised by exposure to a multitude of legislations.
Therefore, tax and regulations figure high among their concerns, and helping navigate them typically requires local expertise.
Other key discussion points include family governance and succession planning, as well as philanthropy.
“While this is much the same as last year, when taken together with the greater emphasis on tax and regulation, and political stability, it’s evident that families are seeking to work more with trusted experts to organise their wealth and plan family governance,” the report concluded.