Monday , July 26 2021

5 questions for your private banker



Your private banker is trying to know as much as possible about you. For him, this is the best way to guarantee a quality service. But it is up to you to define the boundaries. Private bank clients remain kings.

Private bankers and wealth managers do not let us tell us that their relationship with their clients far exceeds the management of their portfolio. They want to offer a global, three-dimensional approach and do not hesitate to talk about a holistic approach.

"The presentation of the portfolio of course, a major goal for both the client and the banker "says Mark van de Vlet, head of welfare planning at Degroof Petercam. "But this is not the only added value of a private banker, he also wants to offer his clients a certain amount calmness. "

This calm, your banker wants to bring you not only managing your portfoliobut adjust your world heritage and by ensuring that your assets can be deliver in a timely and optimal manner to the next generation,

Therefore, private bankers want to have the most complete overview of their clients' situation. They often compare their approach to the history of a family doctor who is trying to identify his patient by asking specific questions. Review the questions that private bankers ask for their clients.

1. How much is your wealth?

Customers are interested in playing cards at the table and supplying a full list of their investments and real estate, "Some potential customers hesitate to get down", find Olivier Van Bell, Director of Richter 's wealth management BNP Paribas Fortis, "But if I know only part of their wealth, I can certainly give good advice on this part, but they may be totally inappropriate for other client assets."


"Customers quickly understand that they have a direct interest in being transparent, and that's the only way to make a meaningful approach to the inheritance."

Nile Philippe

Director of Private Banking in Bellefoss

For Van Belleghem, this principle applies not only to global asset planning but also to the management of the portfolio. "Some clients refuse to tell us what they hold in other banks, I respect this view, but in this case I always tell them that they need to make sure that their different portfolios do not work. and not against each other, sometimes they are too exposed in some markets. "

"But customers quickly understand that they are interested in being transparent"confirms Nile Philippe, director of private banking in Belfius, "This is the only way to have a reasonable approach to inheritance."

2. What is your profile?

By the end of 2014, financial planning legislation came into force in Belgium. This forces wealth managers to define the profile of their clients based on a very complex questionnaire. The services that are then offered must match the set of profiles.

3. What is your situation?

"In Belfius, most of our private clients are bank customers who have moved to the higher segments as their wealth grows."explains Philip De Nil, director of private banking at Bellefoss. "That's why we know our customers well."

But that does not mean that a private banker should not make an effort. "Customer relationship requires constant work", honor Vanessa Duffur, director of Bellefoss wealth management. "Customers' needs change."

"We always have a little idea of ​​who our client is, but we always start from a blank page", also provides Olivier van Belleme from BNP Paribas Fortis. And his colleague Benois Frinn, director of property planning, add: – It is important to know the way the inheritance is builtwhat the client intends to do with his wealth as well family structureThat's why we invested in finteh PaxFamilia, a platform that offers our clients a global overview of their assets. This allows us to give them even better advice depending on their family and heritage. "

4. What are your goals?

Each inheritance situation is unique and the goals can be very different from one person to another. How do you want to invest your assets? What income do you expect from your wealth? How do you want to pass it on to the next generation? So many questions were waiting for an answer.

"We live in Belgium and we know that many compatriots are primarily interested in taxation, but that is only one aspect heritage planning, You, of course optimizing the tax impactbut sometimes it will be to the detriment of other goals "notes Olivier van Belleme from BNP Paribas Fortis. "The first question to ask is always: what are your desires and what is the impact of each of these desires?"

"Many customers have a very clear idea of ​​what they want", clutch Tim Roovers, senior real estate developer in Bellefoss. "But sometimes it's our job to expand our vision.

Private banking

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In recent years, client goals have grown significantly, especially in the real estate sector. "After increasing life expectancy, we usually inherit later than our parents, that is, when we no longer need that money ", find Mark Van de Vlet, from Degroof Petercam, "When parents die at the age of 90, it means their children are over 60 and they need less of this legacy., we are often asked about this the ability to skip a generation. "

– IN transfer of family businesses also, the goal is increasingly to include several generations in the company "says Philippe De Nil of Bellefoss. "We need to put in place consultation structures, which is a real challenge for the people involved, but as a private banker we have to dare to introduce our clients to this problem."

"When we talk about property planning, we immediately think of waysavoid inheritance rights, whereas this is above all the personal will of "donation" ", insists Marc Van de Vlet, DeGroup Petker. "Customers come to us because they want to help their children or grandchildren, we work with them to see how they want to continue, and we take into account the tax aspects to ensure that objectives and results are combined as much as possible. We often advise owners of family businesses that are often dictated by the desire to include children in business, and also have favorable tax rates for transferring family businesses.

5. What do you expect from your bank?

"Our intention is not to direct our customers in one direction"says Philip De Nil of Belfius. "Someone with enough wealth to be a private bank customer can continue managing their finances with their local counsel if they so desire. discretionary managementwhich focuses specifically on private and wealthy clients, not necessarily. Many of our clients prefer to manage their own investment portfolio. In this case, we offer them the opportunity to appeal to management consulting. "

But as a general rule their contact person is theirs a private banker or wealth managerthe person who maintains a relationship with the portfolio manager, the organizer of the inheritance, and the attorneys. His task is to listen well, to identify the specific needs of the clients and to refer to the different specialists.

Customer needs also change over time. In the first phase of their life, they acquire their wealth, then think of diversifying their assets, including real estate investments and eventually related financing, and later focus on the broadcast. "It is important to have experts available for each of these phases"says Vanessa Diufur of Belfius.

In recent years, the socio-economic context has become more complex, which also requires greater specialization of private bankers. "We have private bankers who specialize in family ownership (family business owners) or balance sheet analysis""says Mark van de Vlet, DeGroup Petker. "But others specialize in the training of multinational managers and are very familiar with the share plans of these multinationals."

The frequency of meetings with the private banker depends on the client's wishes. These meetings are generally limited to a few meetings per year. But if the client's situation changes or in case of specific questions, they can contact their banker at any time.

In addition, private bankers are also working actively. "We Know Our Clients"says Benot Friin of BNP Paribas Fortis. "We also tell them about the things that affect them, for example, in case of a change in legislation. "


"Changes in legislation are opportunities to reassess the way wealth is structured, and lately we have seen many changes: in the field of inheritance law, marital property regimes, corporations, and corporate taxation. "

Mark Van de Vlet

Degroof Petercam

"Changes in legislation are opportunities for a reassessment of the structure of the heritage, and recently we have seen many changes: in the field of inheritance law, marital property regimes, corporations and corporate taxation", commented Mark Van de Vlet from Degroof Petercam. "We start analyzing these changes and, if necessary, we send bulletins to interested customers, and then actively connect with those who are directly involved."

Large private banks usually have enough legal advisers to deal with most cases. "As part of the wealth planning, we write both advice and preparatory documents such as project will or gift", adds Tim Rowers of Bellefoss.

However, private banks sometimes seek external consultants. "Sometimes we use third parties, even in areas we know well, sometimes at customer's request."

"For international fileswe usually use external advisors "confirms Mark Van de Vlet from Degroof Petercam. "We have our own legal teams in Belgium, Luxembourg and France, but for example, if we get an issue that includes the South African law, we call on external experts and in some cases we go to them. to validate our own analyzes. "

Customers of private banks often have questions and face similar problems. They like to face similar profiles and the bank plays the role of a hub in this case. "Some people are very interested in our network"explains Olivier van Belleme from BNP Paribas Fortis. They say: Your client interests me, you may have other clients who have the same ambitions as I, and I would be interested to meet them to discuss certain topics, and in this case it depends on us. to organize this type of meeting. "


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