Joe Calabrese has left as president of Harris myCFO, one of the country’s largest multi-family offices.

A spokeswoman for Harris myCFO’s parent company, BMO Harris Bank (a subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal), confirmed the departure. “Joe Calabrese has elected to leave Harris myCFO to pursue other opportunities. He has been a valued member of the team, and we wish him the best,” said Beth Copeland, regional vice president of media relations for BMO Harris.

John Benevides, previously president of Harris’ Family Office Services, has replaced Calabrese as president of the firm, Copeland said. Before joining Harris in September 2010, Benevides was president of Chicago-based Family Office Exchange.

Calabrese had been with Harris Bank for 11 years, Copeland said.

ULTRAHIGH-NET-WORTH CLIENTS

Harris myCFO says it has more than $19 billion in assets under advisement and serves approximately 250 wealthy families -- who, according to the firm’s website, “typically” have investable assets of $25 million or more or a net worth of $100 million or more.

The multi-family office was founded by Silicon Valley legend Jim Clark, founder of Netscape, in 1999. Harris Bank acquired “certain assets” of myCFO in 2002 for a reported $30 million.

Harris myCFO’s bank ownership gives the multi-family office “both a capital and a regulatory advantage” in the intensely competitive ultrahigh-net-worth market, according to industry consultant Jamie McLaughlin.

BANK ADVANTAGE

“BMO is one of the ‘Big Five’ Canadian banks who, through prudent management, largely avoided all the excesses of U.S. banks,” McLaughlin said. “It has a surfeit of capital and shareholders and regulators who want to grow non-interest revenue in this extraordinarily weak net interest margin cycle.

"In addition, banks alone have a regulatory advantage in the market by being able to provide credit, investment management, and trust services to their clientele,” McLaughlin added.

Harris does face a branding challenge, McLaughlin said. “BMO Harris myCFO is a mouthful,” he commented. “They need to decide what market segment they can serve best and present a unified brand to capture that market.”

McLaughlin called Benevides “one of the very finest young leaders in the wealth business with a very rare, if not unique, repertoire of skills including research, operational span, and strategic vision."

Read More: