Steve Knabl Swiss-Asia

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10 Traits That Make a Great External Wealth Manager

  • By Steve Knabl Chief Operating Officer & Managing Partner, Swiss-Asia Holding 
  • Original Article on Linkedin Published 31st May 2016 

Finding a good External Wealth Manager is crucial for clients who are savvier now than in past years. Looking to grow their portfolio of assets, clients today have high expectations. They want their wealth manager’s skill sets to be exceptional, as well as their trustworthiness to be beyond reproach.

” Super Wealth Manager “

Super Wealth Manager Image Credit Swiss-Asia
Super Wealth Manager Image Credit Swiss-Asia

Here are 10 traits essential to making a great External Wealth Manager (“EAM”):

No. 1 Experience is Key

” An exceptional EAM has 15 or more years’ experience in private banking “

Experience is key. An exceptional EAM has 15 or more years’ experience in private banking. They have knowledge and a skill set that can only be learned through hands-on work in the field.



No. 2 Entrepreneurial at Heart

Entrepreneurial at heart, the EAM’s mindset of thinking out of the box is a huge asset that provides exceptional value for the client. Staying humble, they should also be filled with self-confidence about what they bring to the table.


No. 3 Strong Core Clients

Strong core clients that have stuck by their side for a decade or longer is a positive sign. These long-term relationships are an indicator of excellence. They have been through the ups and downs of the markets with their EAM and are more than willing to stay with them.


No. 4 An Effective Communicator

The external wealth manager focuses on his client’s needs, making them the center of his attention to the exclusion of everything else. This trait is most important as he is someone who listens and anticipates.


No. 5 Tried and Tested Processes

” The best EAM’s are not driven solely by profits “

Tried and tested processes are key to evaluating a client’s entire financial picture. The best EAM’s are not driven solely by profits, they have proven portfolio management methodologies to meet the goals set by the client.


No. 6 Performance is Key

Performance is key. An EAM must has strong investment capabilities that consistently meet and exceed expectations.


No. 7 Objective and Independent

EAM’s must have a clear mind that is uncluttered by bias and will very certainly perform best. They make the best decisions for their clients.


No. 8 Integrity is Essential

Integrity is essential for building the bonds of trust that are necessary for a productive relationship with the client.


No. 9 Open to Change

” The financial markets are not static “

A successful EAM with years of experience did not achieve success through rigid, unbending techniques. Accomplishments were made due to an open mind that stays abreast of the latest investment products, strategies and methods. The financial markets are not static; they are continually changing and a top-notch EAM changes with them.


No. 10 IT Savvy

A great EAM understands the latest technology. Using it for the benefit of clients is important for long-term success. Sticking to outdated methods and technology is a form of negligence that leaves the client at a disadvantage.



In a nutshell, an EAM should be an excellent communicator who is client focused, forward thinking and results driven. Strong ethics, honesty and trustworthiness go hand-in-hand with techniques and investment strategies that are key to building long-lasting relationships.

Volatile markets and sophisticated financial products also require External Wealth Managers to have extensive knowledge and the ability to navigate fiscal waters that can be treacherous. They must be able to focus on the big picture without neglecting the minute details important for consistent success.

At Swiss-Asia we take care of all the peripheral headaches of managing the business so that the EAM’s can focus on the 10 traits that allow them to service their clients with the highest degree of professionalism.  Strive for Excellence.

This article is written by Steve Knabl and first appeared on Linkedin. Steve Knabl is the Chief Operating Officer & Managing Partner for Swiss-Asia.  Founded in 2014, the company main businesses are in Fund Management platform, Wealth Management platform and B2B platform.

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