‘I have shared with you in a 30 minute conversation more than I have shared with my wife in 50 years of marriage,’ a client confides to Dr Ronit Lami, the principal of a Los Angeles and London-based wealth psychology consultancy. The Californian licensed clinical consultant, who is also a UK chartered psychologist, has spent 20 years assisting HNWs with the ‘non-financial’ challenges wealth presents across generations and cultures. As there is ‘no blueprint’ to Lami’s work, she often has clients sharing ‘their most deep thoughts and sometimes their most painful experiences’, a process which requires absolute trust and discretion. ‘Preparing your children for wealth transfer does not happen overnight, it’s an educational and emotional process that takes time,’ says Lami, who believes there is a ‘wellbeing approach’ to wealth, whether it concerns family businesses, celebrities, family offices, or entrepreneurs worldwide. Lami adds that issues such as inequality in marriages, conflict avoidance within families and bringing up the custodians of wealth should be considered alongside the tax, financial and succession planning. Lami, who still recognises a lack of awareness of the impact that wealth can have on emotional wellbeing, says ‘a combination of trustworthiness, confidentiality and creating a safe space for people to open up’ are crucial for success with her clients.
Dr Ronit Lami