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Focus Financial Forms Joint Venture to Serve Ultra-Wealthy Clients Abroad

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What You Need to Know

  • Beryllus Capital will provide multifamily office services to ultra-high-net-worth clients in London, Geneva and Singapore.
  • Focus competes with giants like UBS in this high-end market; COO Rajini Kodialam touts her firm's fiduciary approach.
  • There are more than 10,000 family offices worldwide, according to the accounting firm EY.

Focus Financial Partners has launched Beryllus Capital, which will provide multifamily office services to ultra-high net worth clients in London, Geneva and Singapore, in a joint venture with the India-based Hinduja Group. 

The deal, announced Monday, will be led by Amit Kotha, a former managing director of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Asked if the move positions Focus which works with more than 70 partner firms with some $250 billion in assets to go head to head with more traditional global UHNW groups like UBS, Focus Chief Operating Officer Rajini Kodialam replied: “We’re already competing with UBS, … [but] let me qualify that. Focus absolutely has an international presence and provides advisory and other services to ultra-high-net-worth and family office clients.”

Several of its partner firms work with clients living outside the U.S. and have offices abroad, she explained in an interview. Connectus Wealth Advisers, for instance, recently expanded its operations to the United Kingdom and Australia.  

“The difference [with Beryllus Capital] … is that this firm is starting on day one in three distinct countries,” Kodialam said. 

Hinduja Group Details

In addition, the just-inked deal stands out as a joint venture with the Hinduja Group, which has investments in the financial and many other industry sectors worldwide. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index values the Hinduja family’s wealth at roughly $18 billion.

“We’re absolutely honored to be partnering with such a preeminent, well-known and influential global family,” Kodialam said.   

According to a statement from Hinduja Group Co-Chairman Gopichand Hinduja, “Beryllus Capital will address the bespoke needs of ultra-high-net-worth families on a global scale with outstanding professional and governance standards.” 

EY has estimated that the number of single- and multi-family offices worldwide is over 10,000. 

“Our strength lies in the long-standing connections that our founding partners have with some of the most influential families in the world,” Kotha said.

What separates Focus from firms like UBS, the COO says, is that its approach to global wealth management emphasizes a fiduciary-first, client-centric open architecture model.

“We think of what the UBSes and the other conflicted environments … as a substitute, [and] not a good substitute, because what we can provide truly open architecture access [of products and services] to advisors and hence to clients, which first and foremost is what attracts these individuals to the Focus model — both clients and advisors,” Kodialam said.

As for what’s next for Focus overseas, “You go where there are wealthy clients who have a need for fiduciary wealth management. And they use [our] scale, both clients and advisors, … and have a need for a truly fiduciary partnership,” Kodialam said. 

“Last year was the second-most prolific deal year for us,” she said, noting that the firm worked on transactions in Australia “without setting foot” there.

What makes the Beryllus transaction “unique,” according to the COO, “is that a 100% of this was done remotely. I never met Amit Kotha in person. That’s phenomenal.”

Looking back on what it took to form the venture, “I have lost track of the number of Zoom calls that had to happen … across multiple time zones … in multiple continents and countries all across the world,” she said. “It was a fascinating experience.”

Pictured: Focus Financial Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Rajini Kodialam