Chapter 22

Designing the Ecosystem and Selecting Advisors

The complex and fast-moving world of wealth management needs a highly capable team and a leadership that is capable, experienced, and trustworthy. All but the most expert private investors should retain capable advisors to help them navigate through the dangerous peaks and troughs of global financial markets, and advise on how best to work through the many issues associated with family wealth. That network of expert advisors has been described as an integrated financial “ecosystem” of the family.a

Finding the right combination of skills in one advisor or a single advisory team is not an easy task. The advisors should be trustworthy, dependable, knowledgeable, qualified, veterans of multiple cycles, good communicators, empathetic, independent, objective, and sensitive to the needs of the family. Any good advisor must clearly be multitalented as well as dedicated to the best interests of the family.

There is also a constant debate about whether key advisors should be in-house, outsourced, or a combination of both. In some cases, responses to the questions arising are easily decided by asset size and affordability (i.e., if a family is not wealthy enough to justify a dedicated in-house resource). In other cases, especially if the scale of wealth is particularly substantial, there will need to be a careful trade-off between the exclusive focus and dedication of internal staff and the expertise, connections, and broader experience ...

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