How We Work with Firms

Our principals work with select advisory firms to share our ideas and insights with their UHNW or family office clients. Our work takes the form of presentations of research to client family groups--either over a shared meal or through a day-long or multi-day program. We also work with firms to design educational resources on topics related to quantifying, preserving, and growing families' Complete Family Wealth. As the examples below show, we partner with firms who understand that qualitative wealth is their clients' true and greatest strategic concern and who recognize that supporting families in these ways will promote the long-term flourishing of their clients and their firm.

Designing Thought Leadership

The leaders of a national brokerage firm wanted to highlight their focus on client family well-being and engage client families more deeply. We designed a thought leadership approach that included intimate discussions of the impact of wealth on families for the firm's largest clients, white papers on such topics as women and wealth and the challenges of integrating the rising generation in a family enterprise, and brief updates on qualitative topics that the firms' advisors could include in their regular communications with clients. The program allowed the firm to broaden their relationships within their existing client families (particularly to spouses and adult children) as well as to appeal to prospective clients in new ways.

Leveraging External Resources

Many families are looking for advisors who can help them manage the impact of wealth. Adding such resources to a firm's staff can be daunting if not impossible. In response, several firms have leveraged Wise Counsel's expertise by integrating our associates on a case-by-case basis into their initial client meetings and annual client family retreats. Doing so has allowed firms to establish relationships--particularly with ultra-high-net-worth families--that they might never have without access to such resources. Wise Counsel's insights have also allowed their advisors to feel secure in helping client families address qualitative issues that they might have avoided without having us at their side.

Dr. Keith Whitaker of Wise Counsel Research Associates is the most impressive new thinker in our space.

— Bruce Weatherill, Chairman, ClearView Financial Media


Clarifying Philanthropic Leadership

An advisory firm asked Wise Counsel to help their clients, a relatively young couple, who were transitioning from highly successful corporate work to managing their family foundation and a related public charity. We worked with the couple to define their own personal goals and to develop their leadership styles. We also designed and implemented a review process for the leadership staff of the foundation and charity. As a result, the clients improved their communication and governance procedures, they felt more personally committed to their philanthropic efforts, and their advisors were freed up to focus on their expertise in philanthropic and investment advising.

Training Trusted Advisors

A major financial services firm recognized that the future growth of its ultra-high-net-worth division depended on ensuring that its client advisors integrated more qualitative skills with their competencies in investments or law. Wise Counsel worked with the firm's leadership to design a 20-hour training program for client advisors that included attention to communication skills, managing challenging client situations, engaging client spouses and rising generation members, and designing client family meetings. As a result of this training and ongoing refreshers the firm has seen greatly increased advisor satisfaction and retention as well as significant growth in client assets and referrals.