Magazine article American Banker

New Rich Want More Control, Niche Players Say

Magazine article American Banker

New Rich Want More Control, Niche Players Say

Article excerpt

With many money managers jettisoning all but the wealthiest clients, there are opportunities for smaller players to increase business with the less stratospheric "emerging rich."

Independent trust companies, private family offices, and boutique private banks may give traditional bank trust and private banking departments a run for their money. They say they can give clients a measure of control trust or private banks rarely offer.

The traditional bank trust department is "paternalistic," says Harold Evensky, president of Evensky PFO, a private family office in Coral Gables, Fla.

The emerging wealthy -- defined by Gomez Advisers in Boston as those whose net worth has recently exceeded (or is about to exceed) $1 million -- demand more control over the management and administration of their fortunes, Mr. Evensky says.

Trusts and private banks never had to provide that kind of service, he says. Private family offices like his -- firms that handle nearly all of a wealthy family's financial affairs -- can do better, he says.

For clients who make $200,000 a year and have $1 million of assets, Evensky PFO offers asset management, tax planning, financial reporting, estate planning, risk management, mortgage financing, auto leasing, bill paying, college planning, and even concierge services.

The company carefully explains to clients how it is investing their money and how much they are being charged, Mr. Evensky says.

Evensky PFO does not insist on holding all of their assets, he says. But with technologies such as account aggregation becoming widely available, the company can give clients a total picture of their portfolio, Mr. …

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