ABA Banking Journal - March 2009 - (Page 26)
WEALTH MANAGEMENT F or all the glamour attributed to nearly every angle of wealth management, there’s no getting away from how hard it is to be in the field these days. “It’s definitely a challenging environment,” says Donna Greene, CEO of Busey Wealth Management and Busey Trust, part of $4.5 billion assets, Champaign-Ill.-based First Busey Corp. Greene says that, accordingly, her team has stepped up the client phone calls, letters, e-mails, and personal meetings to calm nerves and explain asset reallocation strategies or offer context in light of volatile market turns. “We’ve always taken a proactive approach to account management but we’ve changed the messaging to reflect the current situation,” says Greene. “Our clients know that we are there to address their concerns and issues, whatever happens.” Greene says her company has long been in the advice business, and that it seeks to learn abut each client’s lifestyle and financial goals and objectives within that framework. Now that the advice/lifestyle model is getting popular again by mandate of the riotous markets, her team will have the benefit of always having provided service that way. Greene also says that her outfit has long taken a “whole balance sheet” approach to advising, by which she means conducting a team effort that spans cash flow analysis, tax planning, insurance, and and other services in a way typically packaged for “family office”and ultra high net worth clients. This is the case because, more and more, clients from all tiers of wealth want input that offers both guidance and perspective. All of that sounds good to Michael Wilson, national director of sales, Comerica Wealth and Institutional Management, part of $65 billion-assets, Comerica Bank, Dallas. Still, his concern in the short run is providing the best information to give clients the perspective they need, whatever they hear on cable news. He advises his team to take a fact-based approach in its frequent client messaging. “In this back-to-basics time of investing, we are staying in front of the public and in front of our clients,” Wilson says. “But, we don’t want to stoke the flame with a lot of rhetoric. Now is the time for cool heads and simple facts. We don’t want to spout off with predictions of the week,” he adds. As an example of something Wilson found personally Wealth management needs to be holistic as an “all balance sheet approach” is back in vogue; customers want communication By Lauren Bielski, senior editor 26 MARCH 2009/ABA BANKING JOURNAL Subscribe at www.ababj.com
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