Multi-Family Office Best Practices


The ultra-wealth advisory firms poised for greatest success recognize that this business is a developing business—distinct from investment, private banking, financial planning and trust—that requires its own set of operational practices. The lessons of these firms provide a road map for those seeking to build enduring wealth advisory enterprises.

Business Strategy

The wealth advisory industry is growing at an unprecedented rate as more and more registered investment advisors, larger financial institutions, accounting and law firms are attracted by strong client population growth rates in the ultra wealthy segment. Although there is tremendous market opportunity and barriers to entry are relatively low, service requirements are extremely complex and competition is intense.

Read The Enduring Enterprise: Building a Sustainable Wealth Advisory Business for a high-level view of operational challenges facing wealth advisors and business practices of firms that are well-positioned for future growth and profitability. Watch the FOX public webinar, The State of the Ultra Wealth Advisory Business for an update on the issues that are facing advisors today. 


Profit margins in the ultra-wealth advisory business are frequently lower than those of more traditional private banking and wealth management businesses. Costs are trending upward, particularly personnel and technology costs, and firms are struggling to perfect their pricing strategies. Meanwhile, the pricing of wealth management-related services has been trending downward, prompting some to ask "Is The Multi-Family-Office Pricing Model Broken?" Read the FOX Value Price Study: The Critical Link in the Ultra Wealth Market for new strategies that forward-thinking advisors are beginning to use to better link value and price.

Talent and Team Structure

Compensation and benefits are the largest expenses for multi-family offices and wealth advisors, often representing over 50% of the firm’s expenses. Watch the webinar about The Economics of Talent for the best ways that today's firms are sourcing, developing, and compensating talent. In People Strategy for the Digital Age: A New Take On Talent, find out how the digital revolution is reshaping the way people live their lives and how they work, and learn about the fundamental transformation it's bringing to talent recruitment and management.

Marketing and Positioning

Marketing plays an increasingly important role in determining sales success for private wealth advisory firms. Many firms have enhanced their service offerings and have a compelling new “story” to tell. At the same time, new entrants continue to crowd the marketplace, making it more difficult for prospective clients to distinguish among service providers. Read Standing Out in the Crowd: Strategies for Marketing, Positioning, and Leveraging Networks for tips on how to elevate your brand.

Sales and Business Development

Firms are taking a fresh look at how they approach and staff their sales function to meet the increasing demands for growth.  Up until now, many firms have not had a clearly defined sales culture. Relationship managers have been responsible for servicing current clients as well as courting new business. While these managers have not viewed sales as their first priority, their organizations have recognized the need for more new business, which is leading to a change in industry sales models and greater specialization in sales roles. Read The Enterprise Sales Process: Best Practices in Business Development for current industry trends and strategies for formalizing your firm's sales process.

Service Delivery

Helping clients achieve important life goals by integrating the full range of their planning and financial needs is enormously complex, often requiring the efforts of numerous, highly skilled individuals working in concert. Read Creating Memorable Client Experiences: Differentiation in the Ultra-Wealthy Market for seven strategies to help energize the client experience, incorporating lessons from successful well-known brands. Strengthening the Partnership Between Families and Advisors is a great resource for those seeking ways to construct sustainable and productive partnerships. Also read the blog post Is Good Service Good Enough? for an interesting take on finding the right service balance.