Seb Dovey: How the wealthy choose a financial planner

What Seb Dovey doesn’t know about wealthy individuals is probably not worth knowing. He’s dedicated his entire career to studying the behavioural patterns of High Net Worth (HNW) and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs).

Seb founded the Scorpio Partnership in the 1998, to advise companies on how to delight the world’s wealthy during their client journey. The firm has conducted more surveys and interviews of High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth clients than anyone else in the industry and advised over 300 institutions. It’s annual FutureWealth Report is one of the most comprehensive study of U/HNW clients globally.

In this interview – first of a 3 part video series, Seb speaks to Abraham Okusanya about what wealthy clients look for when they choose a financial adviser. Seb notes that it boils down to the following three key criteria;

  • Consistent: they want an assurance that what they bought at the beginning of the relationship is what they’ll receive throughout the relationship.
  • Credibility: they want to work with an operation that’s got the right qualifications and certainly the right financial backing and corporate structure
  • Continuity; the is often linked to one to one relationships but it’s a major weakness of the private banking model as people leave jobs and companies exit the industry, resulting in the client having multiple relationships. Its because clients tend to be loyal

Seb points out that while performance and fees are important, they are expected. Clients expect to pay their advisers, but what is often challenged is what’s worth paying for.

Check out some great resources from Scorpio here.

Happy viewing!


Abraham Okusanya
Abraham is the founder of FinalytiQ, a research consultancy for platforms, asset managers, and advisory firms. Recognised as one of the country’s leading experts in retirement income, platforms and investment propositions, Abraham has authored several papers on these subjects and delivered talks to the Personal Finance Society, The FCA and several conferences across the country.

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1 Comment


    Interesting, but in the brevity of the interview it isn’t clear if Mr Dovey is really saying that we need to be all things to very few… perhaps I’m a little on the defensive (not being all things to anyone) and also being a very small firm… he seemed to be suggesting that credibility was evident by financial resources… evidenced by presumably large foyers and ivory towers? (Private Banks)…I’m not suggesting that a HNW business is one above a chip shop, but I think the credibility aspect needs rather more unpacking. 3 C’s – Consistency, Credibility and Continuity…. need more depth….oh and just for clarity is he working in $ of £? $1m-$5m = HNW….(anything more is ultra-HNW right? and where is his research based UK or US… surely a cultural difference?


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