Formerly aloof family office providers are hiring business development experts to win new ultra-high-net-worth accounts and free up principals to do what they do best.
At this point, 65% of the high-end advisory firms that the Family Office Exchange (FOX) surveyed have a dedicated business development officer on the team.
For some of these white-glove firms, the very notion of selling their services is new and somewhat unsettling.
But as FOX says, many are overcoming "reservations" to adapt conventional sales practices from private banks and other channels to their genteel clientele.
FOX suggests that firms prospecting for high-end clients be forthcoming about their fees. There's no reason to be coy or think that the rich don't like to talk about money.
The more transparency you can provide your prospects in terms of pricing, the better they can compare your offering to what your competitors can deliver.
And FOX also says that the better you can standardize your sales practice, the less you'll need to rely on top talent for routine interactions with prospects and clients alike. That will free them up to work on more complex tasks.
Finally, FOX warns that while many firms have struggled to remain profitable in the last few years, a surprising number have kept investing in talent to boost their competitive profile. These firms are poised to grow -- almost certainly at the expense of their rivals.
"Despite the reservations of some, many firms are adapting the [business development officer] role to suit their needs and are effectively creating a 'Family Wealth BDO' role that is distinct from more well-known wealth management BDO roles (e.g., such as in private banking).