Tailoring wealth management for multi-generational families: beyond traditional portfolios

Anik Lanthier's big move to CIO of Richter Business | Family Office

Tailoring wealth management for multi-generational families: beyond traditional portfolios

This article was produced in partnership with Richter Business | Family Office

Transitioning to Richter Business | Family Office, newly appointed chief investment officer (CIO) Anik Lanthier brings a wealth of experience, aiming to leverage her institutional background to enhance Richter's innovative and agile approach to wealth management. Her attraction to Richter was multifaceted, recognizing the firm's innovative mindset, its ability to customize solutions for clients, and the growth potential within the family office space.

Richter, with its century-old legacy, has evolved to meet the unique needs of families and business owners, integrating services from restructuring and accounting to tax and wealth management. Lanthier observes the importance of this integration in addressing the diverse needs of families, particularly when managing multi-generational wealth. She emphasizes the necessity of establishing clear goals across different time horizons and educating the next generation to ensure long-term success.

Early beginnings and institutional expertise

Lanthier’s path began with her academic pursuit in actuarial science at the University of Laval, quickly transitioning into a broader financial realm with a master’s in finance and the CFA certification. Her career took root at the Bank of Canada, laying the groundwork for a deep understanding of financial markets. A strategic move to Montreal allowed her to delve into the investment side of finance at the Hydro Quebec pension fund, managing significant assets and honing her skills in derivatives, equity portfolio management, and external manager oversight.

Her tenure at PSP Investments further solidified her reputation, where she played a crucial role in its growth phase, managing external managers across asset classes and rising to become the head of capital markets. At PSP, Lanthier navigated the complexities of various financial instruments, from stocks and bonds to hedge funds and pre-IPO strategies, showcasing her versatility and strategic foresight.

Access to a broad spectrum of expertise

One of the standout benefits of working at Richter, as highlighted by Lanthier, is the unparalleled access to a wide array of experts across different fields. Employees benefit from close proximity to colleagues who are leading experts in tax, audit, valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and more. This environment is not just conducive to learning but also ensures that advisors are well-equipped to offer comprehensive solutions to the complex challenges faced by their clients.

Richter prides itself on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset within its teams. This ethos resonates well with individuals who are keen on exploring diverse avenues within their professional journeys. Lanthier emphasizes the firm's openness and support towards novel ideas and initiatives proposed by its staff.

The limitations of traditional asset allocation

Traditional portfolio construction methodologies typically follow a standardized framework, aiming to diversify assets across various categories to mitigate risk. This approach, while effective for individual investors with a clear, singular financial objective, does not accommodate the layered complexities of multi-generational wealth.

Lanthier finds Richter’s “Approach starts with delineating clear short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals, a strategy that has proven effective in ensuring a comprehensive understanding and direction for family wealth management.

“A crucial aspect of this process is defining what success looks like for each family, acknowledging that success criteria can vary significantly from one family to another. This clarity is fundamental in tailoring investment strategies that may lean towards lower immediate income or capital appreciation in favor of long-term growth.”

According to Lanthier, the key to successfully implementing this long-term investment philosophy is education, especially for the next generation. By engaging and educating the next generation, there's a seamless transition and alignment of the family's wealth objectives with their personal definitions of success. This holistic and forward-thinking approach to wealth management, emphasizing long-term investment and generational education, was a significant factor in Lanthier’s attraction to Richter Wealth.

Strategic priorities and market insights

The CIO also finds Richter’s innovative approach to portfolio construction a significant draw, saying, “They've skillfully constructed a portfolio by entering private markets very early, including real estate, private equity, VC, and private credit. They've developed a significant portfolio with exceptional access to managers in these sectors. Additionally, they boast a robust network of managers globally, enabling them to effectively execute co-investment strategies and single-name ideas. They've mastered the art of tailoring services to clients while remaining opportunistic, a balance that typically presents a challenge. They’re agile.”

Richter demonstrates agility in capitalizing on emerging trends, as Lanthier highlights the multitude of significant developments currently shaping the landscape. She says, “The emergence of generative AI is particularly noteworthy. While its full impact remains to be seen, it's anticipated to bring about deflation through significant productivity gains, potentially disrupting numerous industries. We need to pay attention because it will most likely disrupt many industries.

“Private markets are another trend to watch, since in the past 10-15 years, most investors or capita allocators were trying to increase their private allocation. We are now approaching a juncture where many are reaching their target allocations, marking a new phase where management and strategic rebalancing of illiquid assets become critical considerations.”

For multi-generational families, navigating the complexities of preserving and growing wealth across decades requires a departure from traditional portfolio construction methods. A goal-based asset allocation approach offers a more nuanced and effective framework, tailored to meet the diverse needs and objectives of families.

The essential qualities of a CIO

Reflecting on the qualities vital for a CIO in the family office space, Lanthier emphasizes depth of investment knowledge, independent thinking, strategic and analytical mindset, innovation, collaboration, and the ability to listen and educate.

“Apart from a wealth of knowledge, it is critical to think independently. Amid a barrage of opinions and biases from various stakeholders, maintaining objectivity is paramount.

“The process of investment management is a collective effort, reliant on the strengths and insights of the entire team. Effective collaboration fosters a culture of shared goals and mutual respect,” says Lanthier.