As a Switzerland-based attorney-at-law, Edgar Paltzer advises clients on the legal aspects of wealth structuring services. This article will look at the position of trusted advisor and the skills demanded by the role.
An advisor is said to be ‘trusted’ only when they have acquired time-tested, industry-specific skills and knowledge. They also need strong and longstanding professional relationships, along with a proven track record of furthering the best interests of their clients.
Following an evolution spanning the course of several decades, the role of in-house lawyer has risen to become a highly sought after legal position, with most openings attracting dozens of applicants. Once considered the sleepy backwater of legal practice, today’s applicants are increasingly coming to realise the role’s potential to help them develop a deeper and more complex relationship with a single client, ultimately using that deep relationship to morph into the role of trusted advisor.
In reality, achieving this requires a great deal of work and dedication, with the onus on the lawyer to demonstrate why the business should rely on them and their advice, particularly in relation to non-legal matters. Achieving this necessities completion of numerous tried-and-tested steps. However, if the legal professional can accomplish this, they will set themselves well on the way to being more than just a lawyer: they will become someone the client looks to on virtually every issue, providing scope for a much more interesting role.
A trusted advisor needs to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the business they serve along with its products and financial situation. They also need to participate in staff meetings and other business gatherings, taking a hands-on approach rather than standing on the sidelines.
When selecting a trusted advisor, a business need to consider how well-connected the candidate is and whether they are regarded as an authority in their field. Trusted advisors need to demonstrate expertise, trustworthiness and discretion, along with an ability to work in the best interests of the business at all times.
Trusted advisors have become a hot topic of debate in the business press in recent years. In essence, a trusted advisor can be either an individual or a company that collaborates with their clients as a strategic partner. Harnessing their extensive experience and knowledge, trusted advisors provide guidance and advice tailored to the client company’s needs and objectives over time. They are practical and responsive, recognising the business’s priorities at all times, drawing on their significant experience and knowledge and remaining calm under fire to help the business they serve arrive at the most favourable outcome.