Editor’s Corner: A Defining Moment

The Institute has made a big splash with release of the 10 Domains of Family Wealth, a new framework for delivery of wealth management services to ultra-wealthy families. The project took a great deal of thought and effort, and the enthusiastic response from the industry has been gratifying to all concerned. The message now: stand by for more.

Other ambitious initiatives are in the works and you will be hearing about them in the coming months.  The Institute will use the 10 Domains model to organize the content it creates and the educational programs it is developing. The intent is to employ the model to generate extensive new content to help set the standard for education of UHNW families and for the delivery of UHNW services.

Kudos to Jim Grubman, PhD, chair of the Institute’s content and curriculum board, who led the Domains project. He deserves much credit, but certainly not all of it. The Domains went through a good dozen iterations in development. Each time the product got better because of feedback and refinements offered by faculty experts and other knowledgeable Institute members. In this first major effort, the Institute has made good on its promise to leverage outstanding thought leadership within the organization to improve family education and industry practice.

Educational programs and content generated by the Institute can help prepare families for tough times, notes Joe Calabrese, an Institute founder. “The launch of the Institute has been very timely given the COVID-19 crisis, the current level of market volatility and uncertainty, as well as disruption in the wealth management industry,” says Calabrese. “It is at times like these that clients are especially best served via conflict-free and unbiased information which the Institute is well-equipped and committed to provide.”

Another Institute goal is to help families improve their decision-making skills, notes Jamie McLaughlin, another Institute founder who authored a series of articles on the different business models of firms in the UHNW industry. “Ultra-high-net worth clients, including the most discerning families, are confused and challenged to understand the different wealth management models, their operating dimensions, service platforms, and capabilities,” says McLaughlin. “The firms that serve them do not make it easy, so we see a role for the Institute here.”

Another key role is to provide a forum for professional networking and knowledge sharing, say Maria Elena Lagomasino and Michael Zeuner, also Institute founders. “The UHNW Institute represents a resource for families but also for industry professionals to learn and explore a wide range of topics with respect to family wealth management,” they say. “Continuous learning and engagement are two of the keys to sustaining family wealth. We are pleased to both contribute to and learn from the Institute’s efforts.”

By the way, this column will start appearing regularly here on the Institute web site. It will feature background and commentary about Institute activities and members, as well as interviews with thought leaders. Your feedback is welcome.