1. Newsroom
  2. Is an integrated model key to serving family offices?
Menu
UBP in the press 19.04.2021

Is an integrated model key to serving family offices?

Is an integrated model key to serving family offices?

PWM (08.04.2021) – Union Bancaire Privée’s Michael Blake discusses the importance of an integrated investment banking and wealth management model for servicing wealthy families


The investment advisory needs of the modern family office reflect families’ diverse objectives as they preserve and grow wealth across generations; from private equity to business financing, from consolidated performance reporting to family governance and, of course, planning for a smooth succession.

While the idea of an integrated investment banking and wealth management model that can meet all of these needs in a ‘one stop shop’ is alluring, many financial services firms fall short of delivering the exacting standards demanded by family offices across all investment domains and all geographies.

Chief among these challenges is that wealth management and investment banking are fundamentally different in structure and rarely turn out to be a marriage made in heaven. Services are provided by different teams which often operate according to different cultures, incentive structures and leadership.

In addition, big and integrated is no longer necessarily beautiful. The global financial crisis showed how a liquidity crunch in one part of an integrated bank can quickly spread to another. Prudential regulation has evolved in response, but the pages of the FT provide more recent reminders that integrated investment banking business models carry contagion risk.

On the other hand, pure players offer an alternative way for family offices to access the very best in advice and expertise, anchored by three principles.

The first is open architecture. Pure play advisers combine in-house investment expertise with full access to investment solutions from leading external providers. A rigorous and impartial selection process provides family offices with best-in-class product options and valuable insights into the full range of investment solutions available.

The second is specialisation. Focusing exclusively on wealth and asset management for private and institutional clients, as UBP does, is an added value for families and their family offices because it favours the development of deep expertise in relevant topics – such as tailored portfolio construction, alternatives and asset structuring – to complement the investment expertise family offices have developed in-house.

Thirdly, combining long-term thinking with fast execution is key. Family Offices plan across multiple generations and yet rightly expect institutional speed of execution. The flat hierarchy of many pure-play firms enables quick decision-taking, and the family-ownership or partner-led model encourages development of long-term relationships.

Family offices have unique needs and, in my experience, choose their advisers based on specialist expertise rather than convenience.

The job of a family office adviser is to understand those needs and advise accordingly. It is not to cross sell.

Financial firms of all shapes and sizes support family offices, but a pure play provides the stable foundations necessary to play an effective long-term advisory role for families and their family office leadership teams.

Family Office Advisory

Blake_Mike_150x150.jpg
Michael Blake
CEO Wealth Management Asia
View his Linkedin profile

Expertise

Impact investing - Contributing to a more sustainable future

What are the key features of impact investing?

Read more

Most read

UBP in the press 29.01.2021

Fixed income outlook: Positive environment for credit

Institutional Money (27.01.2021) - Despite an accelerating Covid-19 spread into year-end, risk markets concluded 2020 on a strong note as investors took confidence from the commencement of the vaccine rollout in the US and UK. 

UBP in the press 03.02.2021

Compelling opportunities in Japanese small-cap techs

Funds Society (28.01.2021) - An improvement in corporate governance, a stable government and a leading edge in digitalisation and robotics are making the Japanese small-cap segment a rich source of attractive opportunities for selective investors, says UBP Senior Analyst Cédric Le Berre.

UBP in the press 01.03.2021

Compliance in the RegTech era

Le Temps (01.03.2021) - For two decades, Swiss private banks have been engaged in a new test of endurance as they have had to adapt to a raft of new regulations, tougher tax compliance requirements and the globalisation of their client bases.


Further reading

UBP in the press 28.07.2021

Investing for profitable positive impact

Money Week (31.05.2021) - How we live our lives and how we choose to invest our savings have typically been worlds apart. Happily, it has recently become possible to bring these two elements much closer together. There’s a growing number of listed companies that are working hard to understand their place in the world beyond simple profit.

UBP in the press 26.07.2021

Libor is dead, long live Saron!

Le Temps (26.07.2021) - The final countdown is underway. In less than six months, on 1 January 2022, the world of finance will enter the post-Libor era.

UBP in the press 21.07.2021

Japan’s corporate landscape enhanced by governance reform

Agefi Actifs (23.07.2021) - Significant improvements in corporate governance in Japan – as shown in particular by increasing female representation in companies' governing bodies – could drive stronger momentum in the Japanese market over the long term.