Being seen as a thought leader can deliver wealth managers a distinct advantage over their peers in the field when it comes to growing business with the affluent, Russ Alan Prince writes in FA magazine. But because the field is increasingly crowded, only real thought leadership will result in actual gains, according to Prince.

“It is painfully clear that almost any wealth manager can become a thought leader, and those who fail to build a substantial professional brand are likely to have limited wealth management practices,” he writes.

According to Prince, being a thought leader helps wealth managers grow their business with “often persnickety affluent investors.”

And the wealth management industry is heading for a bifurcation, he writes — among those few who are thought of as thought leaders and the majority who are not. That difference will be key to determining a firm’s financial success, Prince claims.

Meanwhile, many wealth managers already realize the benefits of having investors view them as thought leaders and “are going to progressively take actions” to get there, he writes.


Fortunately for real thought leaders, according to Prince, it’s only the market for thought leadership in general that’s becoming increasingly saturated. The market for “stellar thought leadership,” meanwhile, is still open, he writes.

Wealth managers who decide to embark on the path of becoming thought leaders will therefore have to make a choice, Prince writes: either commit to it seriously or stay away from it entirely.