The significantly wealthy are taking business away from larger financial institutions and giving it to small, multi-family offices (MFOs) who are willing to provided services such as walking the dog. They're providing a wide range of services, actually. The MFOs are also educating the children in what it means to be wealthy. It’s simply not enough to offer stock picks and tax strategies to the wealthy.
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MFOs may be willing to pay bills, buy and sell a wealthy family’s real estate, and manage the household staff. And since new laws designed to prevent another 2008 crisis makes trading securities less lucrative, stable business with lower margins like banks used to have are pretty attractive to the smaller shops.
So the MFOs are taking traditional bank business away from the large banks. They outsource management of the investment assets to external managers. That’s why many banks are opening divisions to serve the wealthy to make it look like they are smaller and more personal.
Many of the smaller bank divisions charge extra for non-investment related services and lend money to clients and take deposits. This is something that the smaller family offices can’t do and it’s a very attractive business for the large banks (that have opened smaller divisions catering to the wealthy).
But the MFOs offer to facilitate family meetings, offer financial education, art consulting, family governance consulting, property management, private travel assistance, and shopping assistance. Customization is what the wealthy are looking for
and large banks are often too big to make such customization feasible.