Wall Street Italia | May 2023

Wealth is gained through either speculation, hoarding or inheritance.

In the event of inheritance, wealth can be managed in different ways, with or without a sense of responsibility.

In this respect, below are the words of the lawyer Gianni Agnelli, interviewed about his role in managing his grandfather’s cumbersome inheritance. 

His words are quite relevant to Italian moneybags – High-net-worth individuals, Ultra-HNWIs or Private clients.

The origin of the assets, the time, the manner, the sector in which they were built say something – if not everything – about the individual and the family that the private banker is about to assist.

A survey conducted by FINER on a sample of 1.439 Private and HNW clients has brought to light how the aforementioned elements affect the way in which assets are managed.

In fact, the universe of affluent clients (Private, HNW and UHNW individuals) can be divided into the three segments identified by the Lawyer: hoarders, heirs and speculators.

Moreover, the three categories can be further divided depending on two dimensions: a) the extent of the mandate/control in relation to the banker; b) the level of self-confidence both overall and pertaining to financial decisions.

Hoarders tend to also be founders – they generally started from scratch and created a fortune thanks to their insightfulness and skills.

Their assets have grown through accumulation and in a relatively short time, that is by increasing the value of their company tenfold year after year.

The extent of the mandate granted to their asset managers is, on average, quite large; it is the result of a selection of professionals based largely on empathy and trust, while maintaining a good dose of control.

The level of financial self-confidence is, on average, high. In any case, hoarders tend to invest only when they fully understand on what and how they are investing.

Heirs owe their fortune to their forefathers, for whom they often feel a profound sense of obeisance which may result in two opposite attitudes: the desire to succeed or a desire to slip away in contrast to the prominence of those who preceded them.

In the first instance, the extent of the mandate tends to be quite small, while the level of financial self-confidence tends to be quite high.

On the other hand, the extent of the mandate tends to be moderately large, accompanied by a low level of financial self-confidence.

Finally, speculators owe their fortune to a situation (more or less fortuitous) that they took advantage of thanks to their strong relational abilities and a good dose of irreverence.

Speculators tend to surround themselves with few selected companions, who are fully devoted to them. The idea of a mandate is limited to a small circle of people and seasoned, so to speak, with a very high level of financial self-confidence.

Each financial professional (private bakers or financial advisors) feels capable of dividing their clients in an optimal manner; it is much more challenging for banks to validate them in a systematic way.

Nicola Ronchetti