Opus Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney;
San Francisco; AUM: $4 billion.
Grant W. Lee, DIRECTOR of WEALTH MANAGEMENT, SENIOR INSTITUTIONAL CONSULTANT, CORPORATE CLIENT GROUP DIRECTOR.
Tony daRoza, DIRECTOR of WEALTH MANAGEMENT, SENIOR INSTITUTIONAL CONSULTANT.
LEE ON CRISES: “This is a cyclical business. You’ve got to grow in terrible markets and use them as opportunities.”
DAROZA ON TEAM STRENGTH: “We can read between the lines on how clients expect their money to be managed. That’s where we really earn our stripes.”
Ultra-high-net-worth families can’t go it alone. They need help: advice, advocacy, protection — not to mention service. Enter: Grant W. Lee and Tony daRoza, principals of The Opus Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. They know exactly what these clients need — and proactively provide it.
The San Francisco-based advisors, who teamed up 12 years ago, pride themselves on being true wealth managers. They cater to affluent and super-affluent families — many with $25 million or more — and especially executives of public and private companies in California’s Silicon Valley. Assets under management: $4 billion.
The Opus focus is on protecting cash flow, a huge benefit achieved largely through advance planning.
“Many advisors call themselves wealth managers, but they’re only investment counselors in wealth manager’s clothing,” says Lee, director of wealth management and corporate client group director, 48. He’s been an advisor for 22 years and landed his first million-dollar account making 1,200 cold calls in a single day — just two months out of the gate.
“Wealth management,” he says, “equals advance planning plus investment counseling. Advance planning equals wealth enhancement plus wealth transfer plus wealth protection plus charitable giving.”
Partner daRoza, director of wealth management and senior institutional consultant, 42, specializes in helping executives understand the tax, legal and regulatory ramifications in pre- and post-IPO and merger & acquisition transactions.
As an advocate for protecting such clients’ wealth, he asks: “If you sell your company, will it allow you to live the life you want? Everyone else surrounding you is looking at the corporate deal. But what is it going to do to you personally?”