Top priorities for UHNW clients
Get the inside track on what Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) clients want and do not want from their advisors from Elise Pulver, Director of Wealth Planning with TD Wealth Family Office Wealth Advisory Services.
Elise Pulver, Director of Wealth Planning with TD Wealth Family Office, has been advising Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) clients for many years – first as a lawyer in private practice and since 2020, as part of the TD Wealth Family Office team. She leverages her own expertise, leading strategic tax and estate planning by drawing on the skills of internal and external specialists to help meet each client’s complex, sophisticated and unique needs.
What financial planning questions come up over and over again from UHNW clients?
Clients often ask questions that align with the four pillars of wealth at TD Wealth. These questions can include: What are the best strategies for building my net worth? What are the most tax-efficient strategies I can implement to protect my wealth for future generations? How can I create a comprehensive estate plan to protect what matters most to me and my family? And how do I optimize the transfer of my wealth so I can leave a lasting legacy?
When I’m working with a couple, I may notice the priority pendulum swings in one direction for one partner and in a different direction for the other. For example, one partner may want to focus on family dynamics and making sure everyone gets along after someone dies. The other partner may want to talk about financial matters such as investments and preserving wealth. It’s particularly important to bring both people into the conversation and the decision-making process.
“Clients need advisors who are genuine and care about their best interests.”
Elise Pulver, Director of Wealth Planning with TD Wealth Family Office Wealth Advisory Services
What do advisors who are not familiar with this market often get wrong?
I’ve been on client calls with external advisors who tend to treat UHNW clients almost as celebrities. It quickly becomes evident that the advisor is starstruck and not focusing on the client as an individual. Clients need advisors who are genuine and care about their best interests. On our TD Wealth Family Office team, we are always authentic and genuine with our clients, and treat them all with respect.
Also, advisors are often juggling many clients, but a client should never sense that. A client should always feel like he or she is the only client, receiving bespoke advice, exemplary service and immediate attention.
Making assumptions can be a mistake too – for example, assuming a client expects immediate communication when new information becomes available, even if it’s outside working hours. UHNW clients need work-life balance just as much as the rest of us do. I make sure I know both how clients want to communicate (say, by phone or by video conference) and when they want to communicate.
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November 30, 2021