Hiring exceptional private client advisors for your financial firm is a smart move, but if you were to ask ten people what skills they would want to see in their private client advisors, all ten might have very different answers.

While aptitude for finance and economics might seem like essential skills for the role, they aren’t the most important ones. That’s because advisors do more than focus on numbers; they focus on people and relationships. As recruiters, we’ve seen first-hand what skills are necessary for successful private client advisors.

7 Top Traits for Great Private Client Advisors

Much of the feedback about what makes an excellent client adviser comes from years of inside experience. Firms are looking for individuals who are:

  • Working with numbers and advising clients regarding financial matters requires honesty at all levels, from regular client communications to suggesting options for portfolio management.
  • Top advisors follow through with their commitments by keeping their client calls, staying current with financial events, and taking responsibility for decision-making.
  • Taking care of clients means helping them in several ways, either by making suggestions, providing education when necessary, or suggesting collaboration with other professionals such as attorneys.
  • Top private client advisors develop a keen sense for short and long-term planning, and they have a passion for sharpening these skills.
  • Advisors who seek out new information are best positioned to assist clients with decision-making. Hire a candidate who follows market trends and wants to know more about the industry.
  • Your firm’s advisors should also be professional in acting, dressing, and conducting business. Professionalism equals success.
  • Most of all, candidates for an advisory position must be people-oriented, and they should not only have empathy but also be able to show it. Clients who trust your financial firm don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

The Most Important Skill for a Private Client Advisor

Market strength waxes and wanes. Client needs evolve, and sometimes portfolio goals take a different direction. Taking clients through rough seas and spending time in calm waters requires an advisor who excels at communication.

Whether talking on the phone or sending an email, private client advisors must be able to communicate clearly if they’re to be successful.

Great private client advisors demonstrate a holistic interest not only in client finances but also in the client’s well-being. Look for candidates who are most interested in helping clients, and you will be hiring someone who helps your firm.