Terry Cook describes himself as an advisor who is always trying to improve and “skate to where the puck is going.”

For Cook, that meant exiting the wirehouse world after 26 years to start his own practice, Parcion Private Wealth, in Bellevue, Washington. The firm focuses on helping owners of family-owned businesses unlock the true potential of the wealth they've created—from navigating liquidity events to taking care of the people and causes they care about most for generations to come.

Cook and his team deliver on that value promise through a virtual family office (VFO) business model they developed with the help of advisor coaching firm CEG Worldwide. Through technology-enabled relationships with a team of experts, Parcion provides clients with a level of resources that were once available exclusively to the super-rich through single-family offices. “As a VFO, we become that center point for the client in all areas—on the investments, the advanced planning concerns such as wealth protection and business succession, and the family support side as well,” says Cook. “Our clients know that if they need help with virtually anything, we either have an existing vetted resource or can find the right expert for their needs.”

Access to such extensive expertise means Parcion is adept at achieving outcomes such as helping clients optimize the sale of their business and save millions of dollars in taxes along the way, so that entrepreneurs keep more of what they've earned.

On the lifestyle side, clients can tap into Parcion's network of experts in concierge medicine, luxury travel, personal security and more. “We're helping families address issues such as how they transfer generational values to their kids, how they can travel better, have more meaningful experiences and even live longer,” says Cook. “We’re able to create and demonstrate value in so many areas for the families on a continuum.”

Sometimes, notes Cook, the benefits of this VFO model go far beyond the expected. “We had a client who needed emergency assistance because of a mountain biking accident in a remote area, and we were able to call on our trusted partner to airlift her safely home.”

Parcion’s all-encompassing approach is clearly resonating: The firm has more than doubled its AUM in the past four years, to over $2 billion, while nearly doubling the number of families it serves.

Cook offers the following advice for fellow advisors who might want to implement a VFO-based strategy—or even just accelerate their success using their current approach:

1. Build a great team. Parcion has a team of 30 people, and Cook is quick to highlight them as the key to the firm’s success. “It’s their exceptional technical expertise, and their unwavering commitment to serving our clients. And as a team, we have a set process of communicating, reviewing and preparing for client interactions that ensures consistent delivery of a very personalized process.”

2. Focus on client needs. Cook and his team put in the effort to understand the full range of needs of their target client base, then use that knowledge to design the specific resources and expertise that constitute the firm’s VFO. “One reason we succeed is because we take the time to truly understand our clients' specific needs,” he says.

3. Give a new strategy time. Regarding coaching and training, Cook notes how easy it can be to try a strategy for a while and move on if it doesn’t pay dividends right away—and how that can short-circuit your efforts. “You have to set a course and stay with it for a while,” he says. “It’s like trusting that your new golf swing will work and fighting the tendency to circumvent the process.”

4. Get systematic. “Everyone in your firm should be able to say, ‘This is who we are, this is how we operate, and this is what people can expect.’ Not only does that help to increase the value of your practice, but it can also simplify your own life—because others on your team know what's expected of them and it doesn't all have to run through you.”

John J. Bowen Jr. is the CEO and founder of CEG Worldwide and CEG Insights.