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Multi-family office model grows with investors’ needs

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More investors are seeking a multi-family office model of wealth management, which takes into account all assets, interests and idiosyncrasies, according to Dignitas.

MFOs manage business, finance and life for clients with a wealth adviser at the centre of a cadre of trusted advisers.

The MFO model oversees cash, stocks and bonds, and also illiquid investments such as property, businesses and alternative investments like art or classic cars.

Dignitas has launched Wealth Design, a holistic approach for assets from USD3m to USD30m that manages risk and opportunity for each client’s objectives over varied time frames.

"I have yet to meet a successful investor who wakes up concerned if their emerging market stocks are in line with Wall Street consensus. Financial services firms aren’t focused on the real-world issues that successful families face,” says Nicholas Delgado, chief wealth officer of Dignitas, a certified financial planner who recently left Merrill Lynch to found the boutique MFO.

"Our families are looking for perspective on topics that don’t have ticker symbols, but have significant impact on their lives and balance sheets."

Dignitas puts assets into three categories, each with a different approach: protective assets include a home, cash, valuable possessions and insurance; market assets are taxable investments, retirement accounts, trust and charitable strategies, and so-called aspirational assets include additional real estate and privately held interests.

"An ongoing analysis of real estate holdings is as important as monitoring a capital markets portfolio,” says Haydee Caldero, co-founder of Dignitas who was previously with Eastdil Secured. "When we talk about our approach clients understand we are integrating the most complex aspects of their balance sheet into a holistic plan.”

MFOs increased clients by 8.6 per cent on average while large bank wirehouses hemorrhaged business, according to a 2008 Family Wealth Alliance survey.

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