Lickspittle consigliere: how the super-rich abuse their wealth managers as loyalty tests


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/21/lickspittle-consigliere-how-t.html


#2

So, basically just taking Ben Franklin’s economic maxim to the maxxxx. How to win friends and influence people indeed.


#3

Have you seen the BBC drama series “The Night Manager”? They took a John Le Carre novel and made it better (personal opinion, but still right, so there). That’s the sort of thing.


#4

“Hey, I want you to do this stupid bullshit”
“Fuck off, I’m not your slave”
“You passed the test: I just want somebody with some sense of proportion and property, not just an enabler”

(Probably something that has never happened)


#5

To me, the first one is just boot-grinding, but the second one seems like a reasonable distribution of a(n admittedly absurd) task to a trusted employee. Who knows how the boss put himself in such a spot, but now he has and he needs to live up to his promise, so he tasks someone he trusts to make it happen.

ETA: Who else is this guy going to call, assuming he’s now made a promise to deliver fish? The guy probably doesn’t have a clue about where to do this and doesn’t want to get ripped off if he does. So you call the one outside guy you can trust to make it happen.


#6

Yeah, these wealth-managers make a good enough salary probably to do this kind of stupid bullshit (or they don’t have a shred of dignity). I mean, with the fishmonger story, if someone had said to me “well today your a fishmonger” my answer would probably have been “No, today you’re looking for a new wealth manager”


#7

I think the time has passed for wealth limits to be a thing. Let’s start with the reasonable common ground that you cannot be allowed to own 100% of the wealth in the world and work our way down from there.


#8

The worst part is swimming across the pool filled with sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.


#9

What about “do not enter into a deal that you dont have any clue whatsoever how to fullfill”?


#10

Isn’t this the kind of stupid shit contestants have to do on that TV show, The Apprentice?

What’s the name of the guy who treats them like crap again… wait, don’t tell me, it’ll come to me…


#11

But life’s different when you’re filthy rich. If you can afford to pay people to bend over backwards every day for the rest of your life, you basically have super powers - you can have mountains moved on a whim.

It’s obscene.

+1 what @ActionAbe was saying about a wealth limit.


#12

Lickspittle consigliere

Wow! That is a band name!


What is your Band Name, Rapper Name, Album Name
#13

Dunno, is sourcing smoked salmon in Scotland humiliating in some way? I’d do it. Not my job description but I enjoy doing weird stuff outside my main work. And I do lots of it.

I also do head home on time though…


#14

If you’re a wealth manager, your primary career goal is to get and retain high maintenance clients who won’t blink twice at paying you huge salaries, commissions and bonuses (or provide grist for your story in this journalist’s rare case). From your reply, you’re too sane to be a wealth manager in the first place, so you’d never be in that position to begin with.

Why do you hate monotheism? /s


#15

Yeah, of all the bits here I’m a little confused about this. “Help me source X units of Y legal substance” is not a super weird request. Putting them on the spot like that is a little crazy but part of the deal I suppose is that they expect them to have resources like this. It all feels very much like a fiction novel to someone who barely knows where to source a single unit of decent smoked salmon outside of a Safeway but I don’t find it demeaning.


#16

Yea and probably why I wouldn’t want him to lording over me.


#17

What an over-privileged, smug response.

To quote a friend of mine who makes a fine living as a consultant, “I’ll clean toilets if they pay my billing rate.”

Or, as my uncle for who founded a two clothing stores taught me, “The customer is always right.”

I don’t see what is demeaning about a client saying “help me source some fish” so long as the client pays up for the service.

Maybe you are so important that you get to define the terms of your work, but relatively few humans are so privileged. If you treat your colleagues with the same high-handedness, you must be a joy to work with…


#18

Just after I got a degree and right before I got a job in the field I studied for I cleaned high-school toilets. Not for “my billing rate”, but for minimum wage. During school hours, whilst being made fun of by just about every kid there. I had bills to pay and did not mind that the work was dirty or demeaning.

But if I’m working a job as a professional (regardless of the kind of professional) accepting a request that lies so far outside of my domain is a waste of my clients money (he can get the job done for much less) and a waste of my time. The customer isn’t always right, sometimes they don’t know they’re not right, sometimes they do. It is my duty as a professional to tell them I cannot fulfill their request, to explain why their request cannot be fulfilled by me and if said requests crosses a personal border it is in everyone’s best interest if I ask the client to seek a different professional. This is not being over-privileged or smug, this is being a professional. Example: if you hire a carpenter to work on say your roof and you ask him “hey buddy, can you go pick up my dry-cleaning?” You expect that carpenter to say no. You did not hire them to run errands, you hired them to work on your roof. If that carpenter still does that errand they’re wasting your money and your time and they come across as very unprofessional.

Does this mean I may lose money from a high-profile customer? Sure. Does this mean I have to work harder to prove I’m worth the pay I ask? Yes. But I have my dignity and my pride for my craft intact. And personally, I feel that is more important than to just fulfill every obscure whim of the super-rich.

And don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind occasionally changing out a lightbulb in the office or whatever. But on my time and within reason.


#19

If it is sourcing a large amount of smoked salmon in a very short timespan, as is the case in the story. And if it is not my job to source large quantaties of fish. In that case it is a request that I’m not prepared to do. I don’t mind running the occasional errand, but time-consuming or very stressful requests that lie far outside my job’s domain I not only won’t do, but to stay professional I simply shouldn’t do.

If I “knew a guy” I’d be willing to hook my client up with that person, but more than that would be wasting my clients money and my time.


#20

It sounds like this wealth manager was perfectly positioned to get the fish. Someone lower in the hierarchy wouldn’t have had the connections or influence to get it that quickly.

While managing wealth seems to be a technical skill required for this job, so “wealth manager” is a reasonable title, the job itself seems to encompass more tasks than that. Many jobs transcend the scope of their title.