In most cases, our clients come to us with other professional advisors already in place. These advisors play critical roles in providing sound and expert counsel related to business and legal matters, tax advice, insurance planning, investment management and lots more.
We don’t want to get in the way of relationships that have been built over years, have weathered a multitude of ups and downs and whose guidance has literally brought the family to where they are. Our clients do not have to disrupt any existing relationship to work with us.
Our role is to help our clients get to where they want to go next. Along the way, we organize their financial affairs, provide comprehensive oversight and offer customized wealth management services designed to simplify their lives.
Prior to our involvement, clients have typically interacted with each of their professional advisors independently of one another. There is no need to disrupt any existing relationship. Instead, we work to bring all of the advisors together as a team.
A big part of our job is ensuring that all advisors have access to the information they need to be most effective. This includes making sure each has a clear understanding of the client’s financial position, balance sheet, investment policy, risk and investment management strategies, debt obligations, cash flow, liquidity, estate plan, legal structures, entities and, most importantly, the client’s goals and objectives.
For many clients, the team becomes their virtual family office: the place that they go to seek advice and direction before making any decision that may have financial, tax or legal consequences.
Years of experience, working exclusively with ultra-high-net-worth entrepreneurs, has taught us that a collaborative approach produces the best results.
We are bound by a fiduciary duty to provide advice and act with only the family’s best interests in mind. We are transparent, objective, and work to be conflict-free. We speak directly, are not afraid to challenge our clients or their advisors, will shine a light on any issue, and try to get to the bottom line quickly. We actively seek out and will accept constructive criticism.
Our perspective is not the only perspective, and we don’t need to “own” the relationship. We know that the client wants their advisors to work together as a team. To us, that is paramount.
Experience tells us that one of the best practices is to bring all of the advisors together in regular meetings with the client. This can be logistically challenging, but extremely beneficial. We prefer in-person meetings, but having quarterly or semi-annual calls can be very productive.
A typical agenda for a client meeting is broken down into two parts. Part one gives each advisor the opportunity to provide an update and answer questions from the client and other advisors. The focus is on what is working and what is not. Part two is about generating ideas and opportunities. The advisors bring new ideas to the table to be critically vetted by the group. For either part of the meeting, additional resources or external subject matter experts may be brought in for additional perspective.
We prepare meeting notes and provide them to the client and the advisor team. These notes summarize the agenda discussion and action items. Follow-up responsibilities are assigned to the client and the appropriate advisor. We take on the responsibility of making sure all action items are completed in a timely manner and provide the next steps to each member of the team.