‘With the enforcement of common reporting standards and new regulatory requirements, 2017 has been the year of suitability, transparency and partnerships,’ says Sophie Saurini, a director at Barclays Private Bank in Monaco. ‘Now more than ever, it is extremely important to listen, and to understand the client’s profile and promote the best suitable solutions, in a very transparent way’. Saurini is very aware of and sensitive to the priorities of her clients. ‘I have noticed how important it is for the clients to keep a human contact,’ she says. She believes that the political and economic turmoil brought by uncertainty over Brexit and new country rulers has also caused a shift in client priorities. ‘They are much more focused on the place they choose as a base to live with their families, the way they structure their wealth, and how they are planning for the next generation,’ she muses. If you want to be inspired, just listen to Saurini’s account of a meeting she had with a client two years ago — a meeting that made her think differently. ‘I was proudly explaining my role to him,’ she says, ‘and he looked at me and asked, “Why? Why do you do all this? What mark will you leave behind you when you are not here any more? What would you like to achieve in three years’ time?”’ The conversation spurred Saurini to get involved with World Vision Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, helping with microfinance.
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