I run a boutique wealth management practice. There is a trend toward bigger firms using a team approach with relationship managers, investment specialists, financial planners, attorney’s and tax professionals on staff. They bring vast resources to the table. More expertise and experience must be better, right? Maybe not. These large advisory firms are not built to enhance the relationship between client and advisor. Rather, they are designed as scalable models of efficiency to build and manage ever-growing piles of assets. An advisor’s ego is directly correlated with the amount of assets his firm manages. It is the measure of success in the industry.
I believe a firm of specialists compartmentalizes the firm’s view of the client.
The challenge for the client is finding a financial advisor competent in the areas they need. Investment management and financial planning are my specialties. If tax or legal assistance is required, I have seasoned relationships that may serve clients better than restricting the choice to whoever a large firm brings on staff. If the investment advisor and the financial
planner are not in the same body, something will get lost in their communication. Maybe not in the quantified financial planning report, but in the emotional tone or body language the client showed in the planning interview.
Who’s really calling the shots and who answers the phone when you call?