External Asset Managers (EAM)
External Asset Managers, also referred to as Independent Asset Managers (IAMs and EAMs, respectively) are private wealth management companies that provide bespoke asset management services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients.
EAMs are usually small, tight-knit organisations and operate in different fashion to the larger teams of a private bank. For example, EAMs cannot hold assets in custody like a private bank. Therefore, an EAM will have a range of banks as custodian partners, with which the client’s assets are held and booked. Private Banks have dedicated teams of Relationship Managers whose sole focus is to manage EAMs, IAMs and similar financial intermediaries.
The Role of an External Asset Manager
EAMs offer the following wealth management services:
- Portfolio management (discretionary and advisory mandates)
- Structured asset management
- Family Office services
- Corporate financing and advisory
- Legacy planning and wealth structuring
- Alternative investments (private placements, IPOs)
Why Choose an EAM?
For the client, an EAM may provide a good alternative for independent investment advice and asset management services. They might prefer working with a smaller organisation that they have a good relationship with, rather than an overwhelmingly large institution. They may also be disillusioned with their current provider, for a variety of reasons.
An attractive point for the client is that they do not have to move their assets from their current bank. As long as the EAM has a custodian agreement with their bank, their assets stay safe and all asset management is handled by the EAM exclusively.
External Asset Managers also tend to be leaner outfits than banks and have lower overhead costs. As a result, they can be more competitive on pricing.
The EAM industry is growing and increasing numbers of Relationship Managers are going independent. Those who move are usually experienced industry veterans with a long tenure and proven track record at a bank.
A Relationship Manager might move from a bank to an EAM for any of the following reasons:
- An entrepreneurial streak and desire to work independently
- Working with their closest clients on their own terms
- Freedom of time management
- Formulaic payout structure and/or equity partnership
As the Relationship Manager no longer has the brand name of a bank behind them once they move. They must be confident of the strength of their own relationships and ability as a trusted advisor.
Examples of EAMs:
- Marcuard Heritage AG
- 1788 Capital Trust
- 1875 Finance SA
- 3T Family Office
- AL Wealth Partners
- Cite Gestion
- Financial Partners Ltd
- Fruh & Partner
- IAM Legacy
- Kaiser Partner
- Mirelis Advisors
- Orn & Cie
- Sandaire Investment Office
- Saranac Partners
- Sonnenberg Wealth Management
- Sound Capital
- Sumus Capital
- Taurus Wealth Advisors
- Toledo Capital AG