The Family Office Exchange (FOX) and Harris myCFO have released results of a study, “How Wealth Owners Measure Value: Evaluating the Performance of Your Wealth Advisor or Family Office.” The report outlines in 48 pages the background, techniques and strategic thinking that would enable advisors to conduct a yearly “Conversation about Value” and how important this is to the families, as “wealth owners,” as well as to the family office itself and the family’s advisors.
The study included interviews and discussions with more than 100 participants, including FOX members and “thought leaders” in the investment industry.
The process outlined in the report is not trivial, but the rewards can make it worth the time and thought that is required. The result is a strategic plan with the kind of depth and value that a wealth owner should embrace taking the time to provide detailed input for.
A Blueprint for the ‘Wealth Owner’ and Advisors
The results of the “conversation” become a blueprint for clarifying the family’s goals and expectations and carrying out the family’s wishes. But in addition, the study outlines the “process” for family leaders and their advisors. The findings describe a cycle in which the family’s “mission” and “values” are articulated. Then a planning process, with its “clear goals and expectations” leads to a value assessment, with client and staff “satisfaction surveys,” “report card metrics,” and “board evaluation and feedback.” Any action that’s needed is taken and then the process begins again.
Rather than rely on “corporate metrics,” families cite “broad-based goals and expectations,” that are both concrete and intangible,” and run the gamut from “wealth preservation or accumulation,” –easier to document—to “peace of mind,” something that is much harder for a wealth advisor to quantify in a metric.
Seven types of a family’s “expectations” are gathered, including: “family legacy and leadership, responsible ownership and governance, management and control of family financial affairs, operations and cost control, knowledgeable staff and clear communication, sustainability of wealth, and risk management.”
The report also outlines accountability in a three-tiered stack of responsibilities for “wealth owners,” “family office or wealth advisors,” and those “shared with outside advisors.”