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Does Your Firm Really Offer Integrated Wealth Services?

James Grubman, Tom McCullough (UHNW Institute)

Imagine a builder who constructs an entire house of perfectly laid bricks, carefully placed windows and doors, and beautiful trim, all capped with an impressive roof. Then, suppose one crucial element is missing – the mortar between the bricks. Without cohesion to tie everything together, the house will eventually fail to serve its inhabitants.

The ultra-high net worth (UHNW) wealth management business has been a story of developing better and better bricks: investment management, financial planning, estate planning and legal services, philanthropy, governance, and areas connected to family dynamics and well-being. Yet, it is the mortar of integrating all these services that ultimately makes the difference for families across generations.
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Families of significant wealth often own a diverse mix of assets, including multiple residences, less liquid alternative or private equity investments, and valuable collectibles, all of which requires more sophisticated planning. The result of these unique circumstances is a somewhat different set of wealth management planning needs than those of other families. And, because no single advisor, no matter how talented, can serve these diverse needs, working with these families requires an integrated team approach.
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The phrase “wealth management” has been in use since the early 1990s to describe a comprehensive service model akin to financial planning, and more recently it has been applied to comprehensive investment advisory services for high-net-worth clients. IMCA conducted a comprehensive job analysis to define the role of a private wealth advisor. This paper summarizes the findings and key implications of the study.
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Alpha, Beta, and Now…Gamma

David Blanchett, Paul Kaplan (Morningstar)

This fascinating article is a must-read! When it comes to generating retirement income, investors arguably spend the most time and effort on selecting “good” investment funds/managers – the so called alpha decision – as well as the asset allocation, or beta, decision. However, alpha and beta are just two elements of a myriad of important financial planning decisions for the average investor, many of which can have a far more significant impact on retirement income. Morningstar presents a concept that we call “Gamma” designed to quantify the additional value that can be achieve by an individual investors from making more intelligent financial planning decisions.
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