I just hosted the Creating a Multifamily Office Practice workshop in Chicago, where I shared research that ranked the qualities ultra-affluent individuals find most appealing in family offices. Research never fails to produce something worth a raised eyebrow and this was no exception. Awareness of family offices among the wealthy population is higher than it's ever been and interest in their structure and approach to private wealth management is growing commensurately. But, that said, I was expecting to see qualities such as "dedicated to my family" or "experienced in managing family dynamics" or "multi-generational investment strategies" or "understands the complexities of family-owned businesses." Instead, what we got was this:
Highly responsive 94.4%
Customized solutions 85.2%
Extensive expertise 81.5%
Holistic approach 72.2%
Not pushing products 66.7%
It's a list of service-oriented qualities that is not specific to family offices. Truth be told, they could easily be said about many firms, not just those oriented around financial services. Working on Private Wealth over the past four years has given me the opportunity to familiarize myself with a broad cross-section of organizations that work in some capacity with wealthy individuals and families and nearly all of them claim to deliver an experience they describe as responsive, customized, expert, holistic and objective. Well, it's statistically unlikely that everyone claiming these attributes does, in fact, possess them and leverage them on behalf of all their clients. Furthermore, when we can identify a measurable increase in the interest in family offices coupled with a measurable increase in the migration to family offices from other types of organizations it tells us that, at the very least, transitioning clients are still searching for a service experience they value.
What are you doing to address these desires? If you assessed your own approach with a critical eye, how would you stack up? Lorne Michaels, the famed producer of the long-running sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live, said the beauty of having a weekly show is that no matter how last week's show went, on Monday morning there's ''always a chance for redemption." The same is true for you. Every interaction you have with a client is a redemptive opportunity to tailor your approach more thoughtfully, communicate more clearly and bond with them more deeply.