Family offices tend to be among the elite financial advisory organizations, dealing exclusively with very wealthy clients. But if they can learn to cut costs, so can advisors who operate in a less rarefied world.
The professional group Financial Office Exchange (FOX) argues fairly convincingly in a recent report that while the family office environment is traditionally considered extremely expensive for both the family and the service provider that needs to support a very high-touch offering, they can still become more efficient.
The important thing, the analysts determine, is to explain the cost of running the operation as it relates to the value the clients perceive.
While there is often a white-glove sense that the family will not want to deal with the monetary aspects of keeping its financial affairs running, sitting down and explaining that side of things only cements the advisor's value proposition.
Smaller-scale advisors can of course do this too. Clients do not care about your profit margins -- and prospects will definitely get uncomfortable -- but if the conversation becomes a matter of services they don't want or need and value you can spend to provide, you're suddenly in a much better position.
Instead of chasing what clients don't care about, dump those programs and invest the money in things they do want. That's true for basic advisors as it is for the people who handle the Rockefellers' money.