Managing the assets of ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients can be challenging—and rewarding—enough, but when you add in philanthropic goals it can take the process to a whole new level, says Michael Cole, president of Ascent Private Capital Management, the UHNW division of US Bank. In this three-part series, we will look at some of the ways Ascent manages the process.
According to Cole, the UHNW want more from their advisors than simple money management, and he and his division have taken that to heart. In fact, says Cole, they has changed its whole process to incorporate philanthropy from the bottom up and even configured its staff differently to accommodate what he says are the true desires of the UHNW: to manage the impact of their money, not just the money itself.
Ascent is a young division, just launched in April, with its first offices opening in Minneapolis and Denver later in the year and plans for additional offices in 2012. Its newness may be reflected in its approach to working with UHNW individuals, since it uses family dynamics communications specialists with specialized psychological backgrounds to work with its clients on such issues as family dynamics, communications, vision and values and understanding the strengths of various family members.
Cole (left) says that not only does Ascent have people with law degrees and financial certifications, but also “people with organizational psychology [degrees], and we will add people with history and genealogy [backgrounds].” That’s not to say, he adds, that family dynamics is a practice unto itself, but that it should include, along with the management of wealth, the impact of wealth.