Wealth management firms typically outsource tasks like tax preparation, payroll and legal advice - areas that require specialized expertise, as well as where it's cheaper to engage an outside company than hire an expert. For key operations, many of these firms build departments, preferring to develop this expertise themselves.
Not our firm.
I found greater opportunities for our clients and our firm by outsourcing many essential functions of our business. We tap the deeper knowledge and experience of outsourced experts for investment research and due diligence, compliance, IT, marketing and social media. We have experts on call for every aspect of our practice.
An executive inside our firm manages each outsourcing provider. Because they are executing critical aspects of our business, we want them to be integrated into our culture and operating as an extension of our own departments.
There are two key benefits to this strategy: It helps us act bigger than we actually are, and it lets us focus our efforts on our core business.
BENEFITS OF SCALE
One of our priorities is bringing the types of family-office services and resources found at the highest levels of wealth to our client families, who have $5 million to $50 million in assets. Contracting and collaborating with outsourced experts helps us to do this.
For instance, for research and due diligence, we partner with Fortigent, which has a deep bench of investment analysts focusing on developing investment strategies for ultrahigh-net-worth families. Fortigent also works with 90 other firms who, like us, advise wealthy families.
We love outsourcing partners who can cross-pollinate, listening to the challenges and solutions of our peers. While one could argue the virtues of bringing research in-house, we prefer the benefits of greater industry and competitor intelligence.
We believe our most productive time is spent deciphering the world of wealth management, financial planning and investment strategies, and applying them to the families we serve. For us, outsourced experts allow us to spend more time on these most valuable activities.
Whenever possible, we integrate important partners into our strategic planning and culture. With our current IT provider, for instance, in addition to on-call service, we have a regular project meeting that looks ahead at our firm's longer-term digital needs and projects. As we seek better ways to serve our clients and bring them the next generation of investment strategies and financial planning tools, we expect outsourcing will continue to give us a significant advantage.
Barry Glassman, CFP, is founder and president of Glassman Wealth Services, an investment and wealth management firm in McLean, Va.
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