‘A good wealth manager has a business model that is as aligned to the genuine interests of the clients as possible, removes as many conflicts as possible, and is absolutely mindful of whose capital it is,’ says Rupert Phelps, partner for family office services at Smith & Williamson. Phelps, a family office veteran who has worked in the area of ‘substantial private capital’ throughout his career in finance, joined from Savills in January 2017, where he was also director of family office services. He was formerly London head of family office services at BNY Mellon for seven years, and brings to Smith & Williamson a bulging contact book across EMEA. He now specialises in giving strategic advice on family governance, succession planning, setting up single family offices and next generation preparation — something he has been doing with relish and skill for two decades. Dealing with businessowning families is especially interesting, Phelps says: ‘They may not be rich in terms of lifestyle or income or cash generation, but their assets are growing in terms of enterprise value and the potential future value they could have if they wished to list or exit or sell. ‘The number one trend among the UHNWs is to try to seek aligned expert advice,’ he continues. ‘I’m thinking about conflicts of interest and product-pushing. Firms need to avoid that,’ he explains.