It’s no surprise that booming domestic and global equity markets, strong corporate profits and the prospect of a major reduction in U.S. business and personal tax rates are all contributing to a rise in personal wealth. In fact, the global total of high net worth individuals (defined as those with investable assets of $1 million or more) grew 7.5 percent last year, and New York City remained the top location for those achieving ultra-high net worth status (defined as those with investable assets of $30 million or more).
While greater financial success is always a good thing, it raises issues that go well beyond tax planning. With more at risk, it’s crucial that individual and family decisions regarding financial planning, insurance, income streams, estate planning (including charitable giving and trust management) are handled by an adviser with the skill to handle a challenging array of daily needs and the vision to ensure that long-term goals will be effectively met.
At PragerMetis, we take great pride in meeting these challenges through our family office practice, which is built on a range of high-touch services delivered by trusted advisors. These include:
The Importance of a Personal Relationship. Behind every family office or closely-held business lies a story. It’s built on the work, the drive, and the accomplishments of a lifetime, and it paints a personal narrative that goes well beyond the balance sheet. That’s why our advisers seek to understand that unique life story by learning about each client’s needs and preferences, reviewing the whole financial picture, and asking relevant questions about short-and long-term goals before tailoring solutions that meet those objectives. Over the years, we continue that conversation, helping clients maximize opportunities, anticipate challenges and stay on course toward their wealth management objectives. In short, we understand that a trusted, long-term relationship – in which we serve as a financial advocate, quarterback, and personal CFO – is a valuable asset to our clients.
The Importance of Simplifying Complexity. Highly successful people are, by definition, busy people. Our clients are routinely involved in an array of business, personal and charitable ventures, which leaves little extra time to manage the nagging – yet important – loose ends that can easily complicate their financial affairs. Our family office professionals regularly handle the full range of short-term needs faced by high net worth clients, such as check writing, bookkeeping, accounting, banking and brokerage account reconciliation, contract negotiations, expense management and investment oversight. Our team also can provide risk management assessments on prospective investments, assist with philanthropic decisions and take responsibility for timely and accurate filing of all tax documents related to existing trust agreements. In short, we understand that removing the burden of these issues from our clients’ shoulders allows them to focus on what really matters in their lives.
The Importance of Communication and Responsiveness. In part, our clients choose to work with us because of our accounting, family office and tax management skills. However, they also choose us because timely, responsive client communication is a core value within the firm. This is an important distinction, since high net worth individuals often contend with complex, fast-moving issues requiring prompt counsel from a trusted adviser. While our family office principals always respond directly and quickly to client inquiries, we also believe in proactive communication, often to advise clients of potential accounting, legal or regulatory changes that could affect their financial well-being. In short, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of client communication, in which listening, responsiveness, professional ethics, and preservation of private information are key measures of success.
For more details on tax, financial planning and high net worth management, contact our family office services team.