The money matters of the super wealthy topped the agenda at the recently held Elite Wealth Conference. The virtual event offered brokers and their clients a fascinating look at the lifestyle of the wealthy through an insurance lens.
According to Christelle Colman, MD of Elite Risk Acceptances, a specialist underwriter, COVID-19 has impacted the habits of the super-rich. “The pandemic increased the coffers of the wealthy, which effectively unleashed pent-up demand, resulting in a spending spree by the rich on fine wine and whiskey, diamonds, classic cars and other alternative asset classes.”
Mohammed Yaseen Nalla, founder of Magic Markets and a CFA Charter holder, who provided insight into how SA stacks up in the global wealth stakes, said that globally, over 50% of wealthy people saw their wealth either stay the same, or increase, during 2020. “The wealthy who made money during the pandemic did so because of global exposure. When building wealth, take a long-term view, ride out cycles and remember that it is about multi-generational wealth creation.”
Soul Abraham, Old Mutual Insure’s Chief Executive: Retail, noted the local trends that the business is seeing in the upper end of the market, and how this is creating opportunities for brokers to add value. “The South African luxury sector creates various opportunities for the economy to grow while addressing unique challenges that plague SA’s wealthy when protecting their wealth against risks. We see that the ultra-rich tend to underinsure when it comes to luxury items and over-insure against low-risk threats. This can be especially devastating for those with sentimental investments such as jewellery, art, classic cars or wine.”
Shelley Walters, Founder of The Sales Counsel, spoke about the importance of cultivating connections in a virtual world. “To maximise your engagement with clients online, make sure that you get the basics right. When you start an online meeting, confirm that your client is still on the same page as you with regards to the time committed for the meeting. Remember that in today’s world where people are exhausted, they go from one virtual meeting to the next, with almost no time between. Checking in with your client is critical to get to your message quicker. Also make sure you follow up with a clear and succinct email communication following the meeting,” Walters advised.
“As the numbers of the super-rich rise, wealthy individuals should carefully consider their unique risks and remember that it pays to insure collectibles and assets,” concluded Colman.
Which of these apply here? “Penny wise and pound foolish”, or “A fool and his money are soon parted.” Being parted from that irreplaceable wine collection would, in my case, be the worst.