In sickness and in wealth

In sickness and in wealth

If I’m being honest, I never saw myself becoming a banker. For the first half of my career I was a tea taster (yes, really), and I loved having the opportunity to travel and meet people from all walks of life. My perception of the banking world was completely altered, however, when I decided to change career due to my family situation. I found having school-age children incompatible with a jet-setting lifestyle so took an opportunity to move into private banking, but I can hardly believe how fortunate I’ve been to end up in a sector which so highly values interpersonal relationships.

Stories like mine are not uncommon; many of us experience changing circumstances which necessitate a re-evaluation of our careers, and just as often our financial arrangements. Having spent over a decade in private banking, I can testify as to how crucial it is to have a bank you can depend on when your life takes a different direction to the one you had planned.

Family First

It’s human nature to want to look after our loved ones, and providing for them financially plays a big part in that. However, modern life is full of potential stumbling blocks; divorce, second marriages, blended families and even the cost of care for elderly family members are all issues our clients come to us for help with.

Divorce, for example, can be a financial precipice for many. Whether you are busy professionals with little time to concentrate on your own financial affairs, have step-children to take into consideration, or are working out how to divide a joint account, having a discreet and efficient service in place can help to smooth the road and allow both parties to get on with their lives.

When it comes to family matters, no two cases are the same. Some clients may be capital rich, some may be high income earners, both parties may be wealthy, or it may be more imbalanced – no matter the circumstance, an upset in family dynamics is still a trying and potentially expensive time. One of the primary benefits of a private bank such as Hampden & Co is that we’re able to take the time to be compassionate and empathetic to our clients’ individual situations, no matter how complex or sensitive they may be.

Business Matters

Redundancy or the loss of a family business can obviously be a stressful time, and the impact on a family’s wealth can be significant. This is especially true when capital is used to fund the living costs of the family for an extended period of time while a new venture or career is found.

It can be important to maintain the distinction between professional and personal finances. For example, clients may not wish for children, spouses and other family members to be involved with business matters, and so discretion and integrity can be doubly important.

However well your business is performing, it makes sense to protect yourself by planning for the worst; having contingencies in place, such as powers of attorney and succession plans, is a sensible policy in case you should become mentally or physically incapacitated.

If the worst should happen

Understandably, many people like to avoid dwelling on subjects like death and illness – it’s human nature. While it is of course impossible to plan for every eventuality, it makes sense to consider how your family would manage in the event that something should happen to you. Avoiding tasks like making a will or appointing professionals to deal with your affairs if you should become seriously ill or pass away can lead to a great deal of upset and even hardship for family members.

The advantage of boutique private banking is that your banker will have a true understanding, not only of your finances, but of your personal circumstances. This makes it possible to act quickly and decisively in difficult and unexpected situations. Usually we will have developed relationships with a client’s lawyer, accountant, tax advisor or IFA which are invaluable in managing such situations effectively.

Most importantly, our familiarity with our clients’ personal situations means we can handle financial issues affecting the wider family efficiently, in an environment where everyone is treated with compassion and respect.

To find out more about how Hampden & Co can provide better banking for you and your family, please get in touch with me at