As the wealth management industry continues to grow, so does the demand for experienced and knowledgeable relationship managers. These professionals play a critical role in managing high-net-worth clients’ portfolios, offering financial advice, and ensuring that their investments are aligned with their goals.

Additionally, according to a report by Cerulli Associates, the number of high-net-worth households in the US is expected to grow over the next decade and Cerulli projects that wealth transferred through 2045 will total $84.4 trillion, which could lead to increased demand for relationship managers in the wealth management industry.

But what does it take to become a top-earning relationship manager in this competitive field? According to recent data, the top earners can make well over six figures annually.

So just how much can these top earners expect to make? Here are some of the highest-paying positions within the relationship management space.


Private Bank Relationship Manager

Private bank relationship managers are tasked with managing the financial needs of high-net-worth clients and their families. They work closely with clients to gain an understanding of their financial goals and use this information to create customized investment strategies.

The relationship manager serves as the primary advisor, focusing on optimizing client relationships and providing relevant financial advice to meet their unique needs. A key aspect of the role is acquiring new relationships, including developing Centers of Influence (COIs) in commercial banking, business banking, and retail to create profitable relationships.

Relationship managers take the lead in developing and implementing client strategies, collaborating with the sales team to identify and prioritize critical financial issues and proposing solutions that align with clients’ financial aspirations and life goals.

Top private bank relationship managers earn an average base salary of over $140,000 per year, with additional bonuses and commissions.

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Senior Wealth Advisor

After establishing yourself as a relationship manager, you may be able to move to senior wealth advisor. Progressing to the next level as a relationship manager means being responsible for your own clients and delivering consistent results.

Senior wealth advisors typically have years of experience in the industry and possess advanced certifications such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). These professionals provide comprehensive financial planning services and manage complex portfolios for high-net-worth clients.

The average base salary for senior wealth advisors is around $170,000 per year.

Director of Wealth Management

Directors of wealth management oversee teams of relationship managers and ensure that their firms’ strategies align with client needs. They also develop new business opportunities and maintain relationships with key stakeholders. As one might expect, this position commands a higher salary range than those held by individual contributors.

Directors of wealth management earn an average base salary of $225,000.

While these salaries may seem impressive on paper, it’s important to note that earning potential varies widely based on factors such as location, experience level, and education level attained by candidates among others.

You must have the right combination to hit the highest salary numbers.

What Does It Take to Be a Top Earner?

According to Corporate Finance Institute, top earners often have extensive networks built over several years in the industry. They also possess exceptional communication skills coupled with deep knowledge about various asset classes.

To succeed as a relationship manager, simply possessing soft skills is not enough. You must have advanced critical thinking abilities and possess technical knowledge in numerical analysis. Additionally, having a background in customer success is considered advantageous, and being up to date with technology is also beneficial.

In conclusion, while there is no shortcut or formula for becoming a top-earning relationship manager within the wealth management industry; hard work combined with expertise can lead one towards lucrative career paths in this field.

Want to learn more about the relationship manager position and what it can mean for you? Contact Avior Executive Search to learn more.