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Trusting Your Wealth to a Multi-Family Office

The Benefits of Working with a Multi-Family Office Wealth Advisory Model for Wealth Management

Wealth comes to people in many ways, but regardless of how it happens, a critical component of your financial future is your team of advisors. There are several paths to choose in assembling that team. In addition to your legal and accounting professionals, there are brokers, investment advisors, multi-family offices, and single family offices to help you protect and grow your wealth.

You want to know you’re getting a comprehensive perspective you can trust, while avoiding the burden of acting as the coordinator of discussions and transactions among your advisors. You might accidentally find yourself taking on a more active role in your wealth management than you would like given other areas of interest.

If you have net assets over $20 million (often classified as ultra-high net worth), you should try to familiarize yourself with the differences between firms and advisory models that are available for you in this higher segment of the market.

Hiring a Multi-Family Office (MFO)

For the ultra-high net worth, an MFO is a logical path beyond the brokerage world’s “investments first” approach toward a more sophisticated, holistic family wealth management strategy.

An MFO is made up of multiple families, and services are typically pre-defined. They can offer “a la carte” investment management, financial planning, household management, or a combination of these services. More importantly, they offer shared experiences that can be an advantage over a single family office silo. Issues impacting one family will be addressed by the MFO, and any other families that could be impacted will benefit from the experience. An MFO advisor is well-positioned to either proactively address issues or at least identify a problem early and implement a solution that draws on the experiences of those applied to other families. MFOs also work closely with a variety of external professionals, so clients have access to an even wider network of advice and expertise, if needed.

Benefits of an MFO over other advisory business models include:

  • An MFO’s fees are typically based on the assets managed rather than on compensation for selling specific securities or investment products.
  • Cost Sharing. Unlike a single family office, you only pay for a portion of the MFO’s shared time and expertise.
  • You benefit from the combined experience of interconnected teams and a broad network of external advisors.
  • Rather than a narrow investment focus, you get advice derived from the shared experiences of other wealthy families.
  • There is only so much time in a day; would you rather spend it managing your wealth, or focusing on your life and family?

Perceived Versus Actual Needs–How an MFO Can Help You with Blind Spots

Your family may not feel like a business, but as wealth hits higher thresholds, it creates greater complexities that mirror those of a business, requiring you to essentially run that business in addition to your daily life.

An MFO should be able to help ease that burden. MFOs offer a breadth of services and advice that is flexible and can offer enhanced risk management over putting “all your eggs in one basket” with a single family office. A single family office can be expensive and you may feel like you’re running another business. With an MFO, you’ll feel much more like you’ve outsourced, and you won’t need to worry about being nickel-and-dimed for asking questions or spending more time on the phone with your advisor. Even better, your MFO team, along with their professional network, is working for you, serving as your chief financial officer as well as chief operating officer. There’s no substitute for the experience and knowledge of a financial planner, investment advisor, CPA, and estate attorney. An MFO team can help you evaluate existing relationships and guide you through a comprehensive analysis of your overall situation to be sure you choose the best path forward for your financial future.

Regardless of wealth level, everyone seems to worry and struggle with day-to-day management of finances. Don’t spend your time chasing down loose ends when you can entrust those tasks to a team of dedicated experts who will work together to ensure you’re getting the attention and the service you and your family deserve.

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