Family offices exposed

Family offices exposed

Family offices exposed Financial Advisors looking to gain an advantage on the competition might want to become familiar with how family offices operate.

Last week WP had the pleasure of sitting down with Arthur Salzer, CEO of Toronto-based Northland Wealth Management, a multi-family office dedicated to helping Canadian families build multi-generational wealth.

Once families gain a certain level of wealth and complexity it’s apparent that the traditional financial advisor is ill-equipped to meet all the needs of a growing family legacy. These families are looking for a structure that can carry forward beyond the current generation providing professional, conflict-free advice while accessing best-in-class investments and other miscellaneous services such as legal, tax, accounting, real estate, etc.

Salzer was quick to point out that all of the services they provide their client families can, to some extent, be duplicated by financial advisors catering to high net worth investors. However, family offices provide all of these in an integrated, fully transparent structure, giving client families the very best in professional service.

Specifically, Arthur points to the fact that his firm is able to provide its clients with the same investment managers used by CPP and OMERS. As the Canadian model matures, wealthy Canadian families are going to want to secure the services of a multi-family office.

Looking south of the border we see professional family offices that are a good 10 years ahead of the Canadian model. With only a dozen or so in existence in Canada there’s plenty of room for growth. However, in order to grow, family offices need to do a better job marketing themselves and generating greater recognition in order to compete with the banks and larger asset managers.

In the weeks ahead WP will be looking more closely at family offices and how they operate. As we do this, financial advisors should gain some real insight on how to build their business beyond themselves.

As Salzer points out, “When family advisors from other channels look at a family office model, if they truly have the client’s and family’s interests at heart and they want to operate in that conflict-free environment… then, potentially they may want to join a family office that can provide the structure and the access to the services and investment solutions they want to provide to their clients.”

“They should join us.”

Well, even if you don’t, there’s no reason why you can’t use the family office template to improve the overall service you provide clients.