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Majority of private clients feel they need to rethink wealth planning strategies


In a time of disruption, thoughtful decision-making lies ahead for high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) planning for the future, according to a recent report published by accountancy and advisory firm BDO.

BDO conducted research into the views of 350-plus private clients and professional advisers across 16 jurisdictions globally. The results provide an insight into the issues these individuals are currently facing along with the views of BDO specialists from around the world. 

The report focuses not only on the impact of Covid-19 but also explores a range of themes including tax transparency and risk, relocation, family wealth and adviser of the future.  

The extent to which COVID-19 and the lockdown are causing private individuals to rethink wealth planning strategies is profound, with a majority of respondents (57 per cent) planning either significant or thoughtful alterations. 

Privacy is a major issue as research reveals 71 per cent of respondents believe HNWIs are moderately or very concerned about the privacy and safety risks posed by tax transparency and reporting requirements.

The impact on legacy for family and generational wealth is significant, as research shows how next generation attitudes are emerging with more than two thirds of respondents (69 per cent), acknowledging the need to diversify investment portfolios to withstand current economic uncertainty. 

Relocation is another option HNWIs are considering, with more than half (65 per cent) identifying the domestic tax landscape as an influencing factor when selecting a new jurisdiction to relocate to. 

Commenting on the survey’s findings, Wendy Walton Head of Global Private Client Services at BDO LLP, says: “With 2020 now firmly behind us, it is time to look back on our research undertaken throughout that year, which should help us to carefully put plans in place for the future. Private clients have always had to find a careful balance of risk and opportunity in the face of uncertainty and change. In 2020, this became truer than ever.

“Wealthy individuals and their advisers face a new, more complex global landscape. Longstanding generational changes, huge economic upheaval, a global pandemic and a stronger emphasis on doing the right thing for society and the environment have collided to create an unprecedented global challenge. This report is the first instalment of an ongoing plan to provide intelligence that helps wealthy individuals and their advisers confidently plan and implement successful strategies.”

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