Wealth advisors and multi-family offices (MFOs) have experienced solid revenue growth over the past three years, although that growth tapered off in 2012.
Along with 22% profit margins, a recent report from Family Office Exchange (FOX) noted that MFOs and wealth advisors face some challenges ahead.
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Two perennial issues are the high price and difficulty of finding top client-facing talent and increasing competition on fees for service.
Approximately eight out of ten MFOs are hiring and this reflects confidence of principals in the industry.
But the scarcity of top talent has created a seller’s market that is driving up labor costs. Finding the right talent for client-facing and sales positions is taking as long as a year.
This has caused a substantial number of MFOs and wealth advisors to fall back on less experienced personnel to fill a role that has been a key differentiator for the family office service model that has driven MFO popularity and growth.
The situation is unfortunate for both MFOs and wealth advisors and their clients. The edge the family office service model has over other advisor-client models is the level of personal service and the depth of relationship.
Competitive forces in the broader wealth management industry are increasing as more financial institutions scramble to adopt some iteration of what is referred to as the family office service model.
These forces will likely be significant over the next couple of years. But wealth advisors and MFOs who deliver a more authentic family office service model will continue to grow.
In this age of collaboration, outsourcing the client-facing positions is an option that can fit quite well with a firm’s current business model.
And since wealth managers and MFOs are beginning to increase pricing for their more complex clients to offset higher service delivery costs, including outsourced resources in the service mix makes sense from both business strategy and productivity and cost
The fact that MFOs and top wealth advisors are experiencing such solid growth shows that clients will reward firms that offer what they are looking for.
Offering such a level of service authentically will build long-term relationships and turn clients into advocates for your business.