As a financial advisor for high-net-worth individuals, you face a unique range of challenges, not the least of which is how to provide your clients with an effective, rapid response to their requests no matter where in the world they are. That challenge becomes even more complex when you are helping your clients manage both their financial assets and their health care.

An Ally With Global Reach
Your clients travel the world frequently for both business and pleasure. Their travels can take them far from their trusted family physicians and into countries where medical care does not reach the level of quality and reliability that it does in the U.S. In addition, many of your clients have homes or offices overseas where they spend significant amounts of time. How would you help them get the care they need in Britain, China or Eastern Europe? Many of your clients' children may attend school hundreds, even thousands, of miles away from their families. Unfortunately, it is often when your clients and their families are far from home that health problems occur.

One effective approach to helping your clients manage their health care is to form a relationship with an organization that offers professional health care advisory services. These organizations can provide instant, personal access to high-quality care; support; and sound, evidence-based medical information anywhere in the world.

Consider these situations that clients of my organization have faced. The young son of one of our members fell seriously ill while the family was vacationing in the Dominican Republic, spiking a fever of 104 degrees. The family rushed the child to the local hospital, but they were concerned he might not have access to the care he needed. To complicate the situation, the family spoke only limited Spanish and the physicians at the hospital spoke no English. We provided a Spanish-speaking health advisor, who spoke with the physicians in the ER and then explained the situation to our member. We also arranged for emergency medical air evacuation for the child to a top U.S. hospital when his condition worsened.

Another member's daughter fell seriously ill while on an overseas mission trip. She was in a remote area and needed immediate medical attention. My organization arranged speedy access to medical air evacuation to the U.S. where the doctors quickly diagnosed the young woman's illness and treated her and she made a full recovery.

Similar problems can occur closer to home with clients' children away at school or camp. We assisted one member when he got the call that his son, who was hundreds of miles away at college, had been transported to the local emergency room. Our medical director contacted the ER immediately to ensure the appropriate tests were being performed. When the doctors diagnosed a serious infectious disease, we arranged for the young man to be transferred by air to a Center of Excellence with the facilities and expertise needed to provide optimum care for him.

We also delivered his medical records directly to the infectious disease specialist electronically so all needed information was in hand in minutes.

Global Citizens
Chances are, as a person's assets grow it's likely that he'll have business interests in another country, a residence in another country, or both. In a 2007 study, Russ Prince and I noted a dominant global orientation among the 600 plus ultra-affluent respondents.

About eight in ten consider themselves global citizens, rather than aligning themselves with a single country or region of the world. In many cases, this means a wealthy client is earning and living in more than one country and therefore subject to an olio of tax laws.
Slightly more than two-thirds say they think of the world as borderless, no doubt a perspective fueled in part by the popularity of private jet
travel among this constituency and money's ability to surmount obstacles and ease difficulties.

Perhaps most tellingly, nearly all the respondents said they use their wealth to shop the world for the very best of whatever they need or want, an attitude that makes it increasingly necessary for their key service providers to understand and accommodate their cross-border lifestyles and predilections.