|The New, Enhanced Family Office Model And Independent RIAs: A Match Made For Optimal Wealth Management|
|Friday, May 04, 2012 13:46|
It’s no secret that the family office service model is transforming the entire wealth management industry. The family offices of old left little room for independent RIAs to be involved by choice. Luck was a primary factor in getting an invitation to become part of a wealthy family’s private world.
Things have changed since then. And the changes have opened the doors of this high level market to anyone who wishes to earn their business. There are intuitive entry points you may wish to consider.
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Technology has offered families almost an endless slate of wealth management options. Dissatisfaction from the 2008 crisis has led families to be more discerning. Large financial institutions have either bought existing multi-family offices (MFOs) or created separate divisions to offer family office level services.
The phrase “family office services” has become a marketing mantra that has confused family clients and given them different experiences than they expected.
The origins of the family office are from the family business. As a founding family’s wealth grew, it was often executive staff who were gradually handed responsibility for managing the wealth and taking care of the family’s personal needs.
Conflicts arose from this arrangement so a separate entity was formed to house private staff including portfolio managers, legal and tax professionals, and personal staff. Voilà! The first family office was born.
As the family wealth grew, costs also grew. Difficulty keeping top talent became an issue because managing a single family’s assets often proved an inadequate challenge.
Over the years, the family office model has become much more fluid and is now developing into an enhanced version of its ultimately private origins.
Ongoing research stemming from early in the decade points to the growing trend to adopt the family office model of service. The main ingredient in this model is integration of services. Early family offices housed all advisors in a single office. They had easy access to each other to make sure that each professional’s work was integrated toward a single objective: fulfilling the family’s goals and needs.
We can look at a model of family business's integration needs to see how different advisory services work together. The chart below illustrates the various areas of a family business which must be integrated to beat the odds of business failure.
This next chart translates that illustration to a family’s needs for all aspects of their wealth management to be integrated. You can see from this chart that there are several overlap points for the services you provide.
The third chart shows the most intuitive entry points that RIAs can take advantage of. As the industry develops more toward providing a family office level of service across asset levels, even more opportunities will open up.
Recent research shows that families have the greatest concerns around:
All of these areas lie at the center of your expertise. As families have begun to outsource services over the years, more industry participants have wanted to take part, even if it meant they would not be the primary relationship manager.
The competition is fierce. But there is no better provider for families than you, the independent RIA. As you think about the future of your business, you may want to consider how you can distinguish yourself among the crowd.
Fiduciary responsibility, trust, capital preservation, risk management, transparency—all of these top concerns are where you live every single day. A family could have no better service option than to choose you.