GLOBAL TAX: Private wealth industry ‘politically biased’ and ‘failing clients’, report finds

As published on: spearswsm.com, Tuesday 6 June, 2023. 

New research by the Progressive Advisors’ Movement challenges ethical 'norms’ of the industry's current behaviour around tax

The private wealth industry has a ‘strong anti-tax culture’ and is ‘failing’ to cater for clients who see tax ‘as part of a broader civic duty and a tool to reach a more equitable society’, according to new research by the Progressive Advisors’ Movement.Based on research involving more than 100 current and former private wealth advisers, the Private Wealth Industry & Tax report questions the politics, culture and views around tax that prevail in leading private client firms and among advisers.
Many advisers feel they are being ‘ethically compromised’ by the private wealth industry and are considering leaving, according to the findings. The report also expresses concern over the industry’s role in influencing government policy in favour of lower taxes for the wealthiest in society.
‘There is a strong sense of “anti-tax” politics within industry that informs relationships with regulators,’ the report reads.‘It is also seen as failing to fulfil any potential role in supporting government to identify where tax loopholes exist, or where regulations are being used beyond their intended purpose,’ it adds.The Progressive Advisors’ Movement was founded by Stephanie Brobbey and Jake Hayman in 2022 to provide support to ‘values-led wealth holders’. The organisation says it aims to ‘help drive progressive reform within the private client industry’.
Stephanie Brobbey
The Progressive Advisors’ Movement co-founder Stephanie Brobbey was previously a private client lawyer at Goodman Derrick / Image: Samer Moukarzel [See also: Stephanie Brobbey of the Good Ancestor Movement on how she helps HNWs to offload their wealth]
To put together the findings, Progressive Advisors’ Movement researchers polled more than 100 private client advisers (some of whom have now left the industry), looked at input from wealthy clients and, perhaps most strikingly, conducted a ‘linguistic analysis’ of the communications of 100 ‘major’ firms on the topic of tax.The report recommends ‘four innovations’ to combat anti-tax narratives and prejudices, including a pledge that firms can make to ‘depoliticise’ language deemed ‘anti-tax’ in favour of ‘tax neutral language’, as well as extra values-based training for private client advisers. ‘We are calling on all private wealth firms as well as training institutions to roll out training and development for all practitioners to better understand the spectrum of wealth attitudes,’ the report says.


Private Wealth Industry Progressive Advisors' Movement