Back in the 80s (and then again briefly in the 90s) there was a tv show hosted by a guy named Robin Leach called “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Leach took you into celebrity homes, yachts, and resort destinations to provide a glimpse into how The Other Half lived. It was a prospect researcher’s dream show.
Fast-forward to 2018, and The Other Half is now The One Percent. In these days of hyper-awareness of global inequity, a reality tv show specifically designed to glorify over-the-top wealth (as opposed to glimpses you see of bling in reality shows) aren’t in good taste (if they ever were). Even so, here in Prospect Research Land we are usually pretty grateful for any true glimpses we can get of the elements that make up the average 1 Percenter’s reality.
I’ve been collecting some things to share with you related to high net worth individuals that are good for reading on the train or over lunch…
#1: Hair stylists really do know everyone’s secrets
From The Times (London): Meet the Shampoo and Jet Set, (August 18, 2018) by Hilary Rose. This article is going to make you expand your list of prospects to include elite aestheticians who get private-jetted in to do hair, makeup, and massages. It’s hard to pick out just one quote, but here’s a taste:
There was a party in Italy where it was a 40-strong team of therapists for the weekend,” she says. “We’ve got lots of parties in Saint-Tropez at the moment. A lot of US clients come over and have parties on their boats. The most expensive was a week-long trip to Greece for a private party. They wanted ten hair and make-up artists on tap for the whole week. That was about £75,000.”
#2: A white paper with loads of insight
2018 US Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth. This white paper contains the results from the eighth annual survey of nearly 900 HNWI and UHNWI who were interviewed about their experiences, perspectives and behavior with regards to their wealth. Here are a few things I found interesting (but there’s *lots* more here):
- After providing financial security for the individual and their family and supporting the lifestyle to which they’ve grown accustomed, the fourth most desired outcome wealthy people want is the ability to help others through philanthropy. The fifth is to create economic opportunity for others, and the sixth is to change the world. That’s a whole lot of music to our ears.
- Results are broken down by generation as well, with responses categorized by Millennials, Xers, Boomers, and the Silent Generation.
- 87% of HNWI reported that they have a financial advisor or wealth manager, so there’s another reason to cultivate people in that profession to gain their advice and familiarize them with your nonprofit’s mission and impact.
#3: A good book
If you haven’t read Brooke Harrington’s fascinating book, Capital without Borders; Wealth Managers and the One Percent, it really is a must-read if you’re a frontline fundraiser or fundraising intelligence professional. The anecdote on p. 245 describing a cross-border private-jet trip that a wealth manager took to meet with her client without needing her passport was just one of the many striking stories of how the rules for the 1% are different than for everyone else.
#4: Just how much does it cost to live like a billionaire?
If you’ve always wanted to get an idea of how much it costs to maintain a 15,000 sq. ft. house, or to own a yacht, or to keep a collection of pristine classic automobiles, this is the article for you. Click through the gallery of photos to get a glimpse into the cost of each aspect of a HNWI’s life, including…
- A typical mortgage cost ($485k/month on a $100m home)
- Yacht upkeep of $6k/day (which includes an estimated $1.5 million per year for crew salaries).
- Personal security (incredibly important to this demographic, which has constant fears of kidnap and extortion. The cost to allay this fear can be ~ $20k/day).
Then there’s the personal chefs, nannies, trainers, and more. Check out the article to get an interesting peek into the affiliated costs of maintaining a HNW lifestyle.
#5 Serving HNW clients
As I read this, it occurred to me that the description in this Forbes article of how one insurance company that caters specifically to high net worth individuals interacts with their elite clients is a lesson in comportment for front-line fundraisers working with UHNW donors. For example:
The secret here is to get the little stuff right–spectacularly right, if possible. For example, PURE Member Service Associates strive to answer the phone within 8 seconds—just a little more than one ring, in other words.
Why does quick phone response matter in particular when working with HNWIs? Because when you provide service to high net worth clients you’re sure to be benchmarked, subliminally or consciously, against the greats of customer service (e.g. five star hotels who are legendary for their quick response times). Beyond that, a HNWI experiences less hold time than the rest of us, living, as they do in a Diamond-Loyalty-Level-Hotline-type world, and as a result, even short waits can seem like a lifetime.”
I hope that you find these interesting and useful. If you have any others saved that you think I and everyone else would enjoy, please share them!