In the fluid landscape of global finance, adaptability emerges not as a mere asset, but as an essential trait. While grasping the intricacies of international market dynamics is undeniably important, the genuine differentiator lies in the agility and efficiency with which one responds to these ever-changing tides, writes Joby Gruber president of Beacon Global Advisor Network.
Reflect on the former concentration of many Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) on UK Pension Transfers. This once-booming domain, owing to shifting regulatory contours and fee structures, now feels like navigating ‘red oceans’ – a saturated space rife with competition and dwindling opportunities for differentiation.
Yet, the broader international panorama is rich in ‘blue oceans’ – untapped markets bursting with innovation and opportunities. Two prominent areas in this regard are the British expats in the US and Americans domiciled overseas.
To put things into perspective, about 700,000 British-born individuals reside in the US. This figure excludes the second or third-generation British-Americans who maintain substantial financial and cultural ties to the UK.
For these expats, financial challenges are multifaceted. They face dual taxation, the balancing act of investments in both nations, complex estate planning, and, critically, inheritance tax planning in two distinct regulatory environments.
Conversely, an impressive nine million Americans have made homes outside their birth nation. Spread globally, many retain considerable US-based assets. Their challenges are no less complex, spanning the intricacies of international financial regulations, diverse tax regimes, and inheritance planning that juggles guideline from both the US and their country of residence.
These demographics are not just numbers; they represent a significant, nuanced market. These are individuals and families with multifaceted financial concerns that demand specialised advisory services. Herein lies a golden opportunity for IFAs—if they can reorient and enrich their service models to cater to these specialised needs.
This is not about mere diversification; it is about evolution. Success in these ‘blue oceans’ demands a confluence of global financial understanding, strategic alliances across borders, tech-enabled solutions, and an adeptness at inheritance and estate planning tailored to cross-border complexities. The potential rewards? A growing and loyal client base and a distinct positioning in a market with ample room for innovation.
In conclusion, while the financial world will continue its unpredictable dance, opportunities for growth and innovation remain – if only we knew where to look.
For the modern IFA, the horizons are clear: the British expat in the US and the American abroad. As we pivot our strategies and adapt our business models, these ‘blue oceans’ beckon with promise. The question is, are we ready to dive in?
This article was written for International Adviser by Joby Gruber, president of Beacon Global Advisor Network