Morgan Stanley now has the hottest wealth-management division on Wall Street. To maintain that, you need to find top talent.
It’s harder than you might think.
So we asked Morgan Stanley to send us a tough interview question, one that separates the men from the boys, or the women from the girls.
This is a question that shows you how the bank wants its wealth managers to think.
Here it is:
“The client is always right. Describe three examples of when the client is wrong.”
“The question is a good one because it gets to the heart of what effective financial advisors do all the time, which is to prevent clients from taking actions that could be harmful to their financial well-being, while still maintaining a constructive relationship with the client,” said Daniel Dibiasio, Morgan Stanley wealth management’s head of Talent.
“It gives the interviewer insight into how a would-be financial advisor might think about and handle such a situation, and opens the possibility for role play that allows the candidates to show how they might please clients while still persuading them to consider consequences they may not have thought about and go in a different direction.”
From Dibiasio’s response, you can probably already gather that there’s no set answer to this one, but some are better than others.
For example, a client may be wrong if they refuse to diversify their portfolio or take on too much risk.
Some of this stuff is personal, too. A wealth manager may want to step in if a client isn’t planning for a potential negative scenario within the family, like a child’s spouse not being the best with money.
All these responses reflect what wealth management is: a delicate balance between understanding your client as a person, understanding the market, and building a respectful relationship with everyone involved.
Don’t get stumped.
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