Pathstone Family Office, a four-year-old multifamily office founded by a group of former myCFO executives, has sold a minority stake to investment firm Fiduciary Network LLC.

The firm, based in Fort Lee, N.J., has about $2 billion in assets under management and serves 31 client families, providing a comprehensive menu of services that stretches from investment management to “doing background checks on the dog walker,” said Executive Managing Director Steve Braverman.  

The firm’s clients are mostly ultra-wealthy holders of first- and second-generation wealth with between $50 million and $350 million in assets, he added.

Braverman cited two primary reasons for taking on Fiduciary Network as a partner: It enabled the firm to firmly establish an employee-ownership program that will solidify leadership into the future, and it provides capital for growth through acquisitions.

“It gives us the ability to have a well-defined process around next-generation ownership,” Braverman said.

The firm has 34 employees, eight of whom are part owners of the firm, he added.

By giving other employees a pathway to becoming owners, Braverman said, the firm is laying a foundation that will enable it to undergo ownership transitions without losing its independence.

“It’s answering the question, ‘How do you create a business that has institutional staying power without feeling institutional?'” he said.

For Fiduciary Network, which was founded in 2007 specifically to accumulate investments in wealth advisory firms, this marks its 17th investment, all of which have been minority stakes. Some of those firms have since merged, resulting in Fiduciary Network now having investments in about 13 advisory firms with an average AUM of $1.6 billion.

Mark Hurley, Fiduciary Network’s founder and CEO, said Pathstone Family Office is among a small group of multifamily offices that have captured their own operational niche: providing ultra-wealthy families with wealth services cheaper than they can do so themselves.

Pathstone is able to approach rich families that are being served by single-family offices and offer them a similar lineup of services at about a third of the cost, Hurley said. Other large multifamily office-style firms emulate this model, include Tiedemann Wealth Management in New York City, Arlington Family Offices in Birmingham, Ala. and Threshold Group of Gig Harbor, Wash., the family office of the Russell family of institutional pension consulting and indexing fame.

“They [Pathstone] have a very deep bench of owners who have different expertise,” Hurley said. “They can do it much cheaper than the clients can do it themselves.”