Wealth Planning

Family Offices and Personalized Wealth Management 


Alain E. Roch, MBA

President and CEO

Alain.Roch@bluebridge.caWealthy families in Europe and the U.S. have long been setting up family offices dedicated solely to managing their assets. Once a rarity in Québec, these specialized wealth advisory organizations are gradually emerging in the province’s financial ecosystem.

Managing large family fortunes creates needs that are often more complex than traditional wealth management requirements. A significant portion of wealthy family’s capital under management would usually consist of illiquid assets, including real estate, that require continuous administrative and operational monitoring. Family offices can also administer a family’s estate and its philanthropic activities, which requires specialized tax services.

Families join together

Setting up a family office is worthwhile when a family’s fortune is immense. However, high fixed staffing and professional services costs have long led families to group their wealth management activities into multi-family offices, the institution category that has seen the strongest growth in Québec over the past 20 years.

First and foremost, a family office advises its clients. Its professionals select, track, and analyze available products and emerging opportunities, and also assess the best options for individual family members. A key feature that sets a family office apart, from other financial institutions, is that it does not sell financial products; it analyzes and selects them, while also making recommendations to its clients.

The wealth management market is growing in tandem with a highly mobile entrepreneurial class. A family office must be able to manage the assets and estates of families whose members are scattered around the world. This is where Montréal has an advantage, as its legal professionals are familiar with both civil law and common law, the world’s two main legal systems.

A customized offering:

  • A family office aims to create value for its clients by helping them achieve their objectives through innovative, effective, and human solutions.
  • A family office does not sell products; it selects, coordinates, advises, monitors, analyzes, assesses, etc.
  • A family office is supported by a network of external experts, but its staff must also include financial experts such as Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs), as well as lawyers and accountants. This multi-generational, standardized, proven, adaptive, and internationally recognized wealth planning tool has a legitimate ambition to coordinate its clients’ wealth planning, but must also rely on tax and trust specialists.

 

Article published on June 23, 2021, in Les Affaires- Dossiers partenaires

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By ALAIN E. ROCH, MBA

29/06/2021

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