(Dow Jones) Some financial advisory firms were anything but quiet during the holiday season.
With family members of clients visiting, advisors looking to tap the next generation of wealth hosted year-end events and invited clients' children to come to the office.
With two or sometimes three generations together, the holiday season presented an opportunity to inform the entire family of the parents' financial plans, as well as cultivate the children of clients as future business prospects.
Jeff Rose, a financial advisor in Carbondale, Ill., rented out a local movie theatre in early December and held a special screening of the movie "Elf" for clients and their children and grandchildren. In Sun City Center, Fla., financial advisor Gary Cotter held an open house for clients with a buffet-supper and charitable toy collection.
"Anytime from Thanksgiving to New Years is an opportunity to meet our clients' children, who are visiting for the holidays, and start or foster a relationship with them," says Cotter, who met with children of client's visiting from New Jersey, Texas and other cities in Florida.
The way Cotter sees it, right about the time his clients pass away is when their kids will be retired and seeking financial advice. An already-established relationship with Cotter could make for a perfect fit.
An added bonus: "It gives the parents peace of mind to know that I'm acquainted with their kids and the kids peace of mind that I'm not some con-man taking advantage of the folks," he says.
Tom McGuirk, a wealth manager in Palo Alto, Calif., encourages clients to bring their adult children in for family trust and year-end investment reviews. The more people in the room at the same time when the plan is created, he says, the smoother wealth transfer will go in the future.
During these meetings, McGuirk discusses "what-if" scenarios, such as what happens when a parent or spouse passes away. He also creates family binders for the children containing emergency information including a documentation of assets, insurance policies and computer passwords.
While McGuirk likes to make the occasion into a "family outing" by following the meeting with a lunch or dinner, he says he prepares for the gathering as if it were a prospect meeting.