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In Portfolio: Market attachments, money and capital in private wealth management

ALVES-DOS-SANTOS, MARIANA,FIGUEIRAS (2018) In Portfolio: Market attachments, money and capital in private wealth management. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Unequivocally tied to the protection and accumulation of private fortunes over time, the wealth management industry has mostly been portrayed in media and academic accounts in terms of exotic practices taking place in unreachable, offshore worlds. This thesis seeks to explore this sector of finance as a market that targets and serves the super-rich and as a key site where capital is reproduced, but by attending to the more ordinary practices, procedures and experiences typically obscured in those accounts. More precisely, this is a market that seeks to capture and retain private wealth in the form of a portfolio of financial market products. Doing so, as a tradition of research on marketization has shown, involves multiple processes whereby suppliers and their products/services adapt and co-evolve with clients and their worlds. Through a range of qualitative and ethnographic methods and materials collected across different wealth management contexts (i.e. Lisbon, London, Geneva and Zurich), the aim is to account for those adaptations and attachments as pragmatic, situated lived experience that demands forms of cognitive and calculative engagement but always exceed it in significant ways.
Namely, this is a market for financial products and services that clients become attached to by seeing them as adequate ways of holding and growing money. In this sense, this thesis is also about money – and how modes of qualifying products/services for holding and growing money reveal something constitutive of what money is that unsettles dominant theories. A market that is all about the money reveals – performs - money not as a means for lubricating exchange, but as the embodiment of a nexus between value and future. Thus, accounting for the ways in which private wealth becomes attached in the financial portfolio, and animated by the ‘spirit’ of money, is ultimately a story about capital - how it is provoked, accomplished and demonstrated in and through the financial portfolio but also a variety of other services, and how its mark is inscribed in lifeworlds attached thereby.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Marketization; market attachments; financial subjectivities; material culture; wealth management
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Aug 2018 08:25

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