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Non-Executive Directors: one year into the job

In March 2022, H.S.H. Princess Adelheid Coudenhove-Kalergi and Susan Ward joined LGT Wealth Management’s Governing Board as Non-Executive Directors. Since then, they have quickly become integral to the senior leadership team and have become involved in initiatives across the firm, from philanthropy to sustainability

Woman in red suit staring outside window

As they approach one year with LGT Wealth Management, we speak to Princess Adelheid and Susan this International Women’s Day to understand what motivates them and what they’ve learned so far: 

Please could you tell us about yourself?

H.S.H Princess Adelheid

Princess Adelheid: Education and perseverance, in the short and long term, are amongst my family’s central values. My journey has led me to gain a Master in International Law and Economics in Vienna, where I focused on international tax competition in my Master thesis. Many aspects of my studies were explored during my various work experiences in a wide range of different areas in both the public and the private sector. In 2018, I was appointed the first ever representative of the Principality of Liechtenstein in England as an Honorary Consulate. This is how I met Ben Snee, CEO of LGT Wealth Management.

Susan: I have enjoyed an interesting and varied career in banking working first for JPMorgan Investment Bank and latterly for UBS Wealth Management. Both provided the opportunity to work with great people in very different cultures, both offered tremendous opportunity for growth and constant new challenges which has always been very important to me. It is a privilege now to be part of LGT Wealth Management and I have very much enjoyed the first year working with Ben and the Board in London. Outside of work, my husband and I enjoy lots of outdoor activities with our two daughters including walking, skiing and sailing.

What does a Non-Executive Director do and what motivated you to become one? 

Susan Ward

Susan: A Non-Executive Director is a member of a company’s board of directors. They do not engage in day-to-day management of an organisation, instead they bring independence, oversight and constructive challenge to the Board whilst helping develop a company’s strategy. A NED also works with the Board to ensure the strategy is delivered within an appropriate governance framework, risk appetite and, for an FCA-regulated company such as LGT, that the company meets its regulatory obligations. 

In my view, a NED role offers the opportunity to build on previous experience whilst continuing to grow and learn. I was delighted to join the LGT Wealth Management Board, and it has proven to be an exciting and dynamic environment that I have very much enjoyed being a part of.

Princess Adelheid: A Non-Executive Director will bring independent and impartial expertise through a neutral point of view, to assist LGT Wealth Management in achieving its goals. We are involved in policymaking, planning and monitoring LGT’s ambitions and goals. Following numerous interviews, I was delighted to take on the role and contribute to the best of my abilities to LGT, an ever-growing enterprise.

You are one year into your position on LGT Wealth Management’s Governing Board – what have you learnt about the firm and its people? 

Princess Adelheid: The Liechtenstein family values are at the heart of LGT’s cultural values, so I immediately felt at ease. The culture of an international family business translates across so many different cultures and, as I have experienced, is quite unique here at LGT. This culture makes me feel a lot more confident and productive. You can, without knowing an LGT colleague, get straight to work without doubting that they only have the best results at heart. 

Susan: Client-centric. Quietly ambitious. Collaborative. Focused. Fair. A few of the words that come to mind in thinking about this question. LGT demonstrates a thoughtful and consistent commitment to its clients across all aspects of the business. Alongside this, I have found a collaborative and supportive culture underpinned with a strong sense of trust and a shared entrepreneurial spirit. It has also been fascinating to observe the working relationship between LGT Wealth Management and its owner, the Princely House of Liechtenstein, which is based on shared values and aligned goals, and which brings a long-term approach to decision-making.

What is the biggest issue facing our industry at the moment? 

Susan: The wealth management industry is facing a changing landscape with significant wealth transfer to the next generation, challenging macroenvironments, growing regulatory burdens and relentlessly increasing competition and fee compression. The challenge and the opportunity against this backdrop is the increasing use of technology. Organisations leading the way in this complex environment are harnessing the power of technology in all aspects of their businesses: developing the client interface, creating more bespoke, targeted client solutions, improving the client onboarding experience and the risk management process. Furthermore, the need for increasingly sophisticated data security solutions is a constant imperative that organisations must focus on.

Princess Adelheid: One of the biggest disruptions in the sector will be driven by The Great Wealth Transfer. Experts forecast that, by the end of 2045, a transition of US$84 trillion from one generation to the next will take place. In addition to an increased margin compression, this will have a profound competitive impact on the wealth management industry. Surveys reflect that the next generation, in return for a fee, have higher expectations of their private bank and relationship manager. We will also see a change in investment behaviour, with a rise of new asset classes along with the intention to use their wealth to create a purpose while being highly digitalised.

Outside of your role as Non-Executive Director on LGT Wealth Management’s Governing Board, what are you passionate about? 

Princess Adelheid: Besides executing my role at LGT, I have just started my second term representing the Principality of Liechtenstein in England. Along with this, I am a big supporter of the Liechtenstein Initiative - Finance Against (modern) Slavery and (human) Trafficking, a public-private partnership between governments as well as private sector actors such as LGT. Prevention of sexual violence in conflict zones is a further cause close to my heart. When time allows it, I like to enjoy and share my passions for the arts.

Susan: Outside of LGT, I enjoy being involved in projects that make a difference. I am currently raising funds for sustainable infrastructure investment in emerging markets – projects that will create meaningful impact in areas such as climate, water, and health. Beyond all things work-related, family is my most important priority, supporting our girls in their education and other interests and helping them as they begin their journeys.

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