The heads of ultra-high-net-worth families often have different views of how money should be bequeathed than those who will inherit it, according to a recent study.
A majority (79%) of the inheriting generation-respondents in their 30s and 40s-felt it was extremely important to be a good steward of family wealth, according to the study. However, those in their 40s, who presumably have more control and involvement in managing family wealth, felt more satisfaction about their families' investment decisions and plans for the transfer of the wealth than those in their 30s.
Of the respondents aged 30 to 39, one quarter said they were not satisfied with their families' investment decisions and 43% disagreed with the wealth transfer plans. This compares to 84% of those in their 40s who said they have a high degree of satisfaction with the wealth transfer plans.
The study, "Next-Generation Wealth: The New Face of Affluence," was conducted by Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management and Campden Wealth, which provides education, news, research, conferences and networking opportunities to high-net-worth families and their advisors. The studied look at 53 families, most with a net worth of more than $100 million.
"In some ways, families feel as if they are walking a tightrope and are seeking the right balance," said Mindy Rosenthal, managing director of Campden Wealth North America and author of the study. "Parents want to educate and prepare the younger generation for steering the family's legacy and wealth. But they grapple with giving up control and weighing when and how much to divulge about the family wealth, so that it's not a disincentive.
"At the same time, the next generation is balancing a desire to learn more about their wealth and have greater control of it with not wanting to push too hard," Rosenthal said. "Younger family members often feel they don't have the right to make decisions about wealth management ... because it [isn't] their money."
Some 30% of next-generation inheritors (those in their 30s and 40s) said they have already created significant wealth of their own and 17% said they are involved with entrepreneurial ventures.
None of the respondents said they wanted their children to focus solely on managing the family wealth, while about half (56%) of the older generation parents (those in their 50's and up) felt their children should balance the family finances with a career.
Most families said they take an informal approach to teaching about their wealth, with many relying on private banks and trust companies (56%), accountants (50%) and independent attorneys (49%) to help educate their children. Almost half (47%) of the inheriting generation seeks educational help from advisors.
Forty-two percent of respondents said they have a primary advisor who acts as a quarterback to oversee all of their finances, while using multiple advisors to diversify risk and gain unique investments. One quarter of the older generation said they will mostly likely replace a wealth transfer advisor in the next two years, while 62% of the inheriting generation said they are likely to make a replacement.