Image: Bloomberg/file photo

Financial wellness programs continue to gain acceptance and adoption in companies. In an effort to differentiate its program from the competition, the Wealth Management division of Morgan Stanley is developing a program with a focus on goal-based planning instead of budgeting and debt management.

Calling their financial wellness program, “Workplace Wealth,” the Morgan Stanley Kartheiser Group’s C-Suite program works directly with individuals in the executive branch of businesses.

Jeffrey Piwnicki, a financial adviser with the Kartheiser Group at Morgan Stanley, says the program is capable of servicing every level of a business’s benefits ladder; however his group takes special interest in the “tier one” level.

“My team specifically focuses on the financial wellness of the C-suite and executives at both private and public companies,” says Piwinicki. “This would obviously require a much more advanced financial wellness program with high-level advanced wealth planning.”

Piwnicki says as of January 2016 they have managed over $1.25 billion in assets and his partner, Joe Kartheiser, has been named in both Barron’s and Financial Times as a top adviser for work in financial wellness.

Kartheiser, executive director for the Kartheiser Group, says the C-Suite program stands out from other wellness programs, by offering a deep and comprehensive analysis of each individual executive within a company focusing on the needs of each specific person rather than a general program that can be fitted to a broad spectrum of employees.

“There are three legs to [the C-Suite program],” Kartheiser says. “The first is the financial planning, we do an in-depth discovery process with these folks to find out what their dreams and goals are, not just with their money, but with their life.The second and third are estate planning and taxes, where a vetted third party provider will execute the documents and file taxes.”

Kartheiser says their program will allow the members of a company’s executive office to have their own family office, a private wealth management advisory division that serves ultra-high net worth investors, which are different from traditional wealth management shops in that they offer a total outsourced solution to managing the financial and investment side of an affluent individual or family.

“We are the quarterback, so-to-speak and everything goes through us,” Kartheiser says. “Typically this is a yearlong engagement and it all depends on the complexity of the individual’s wealth as we get into significant levels of assets.”

The C-Suite program or tier one of the Workplace Wealth program includes: executive summary, comprehensive one-on-one financial planning, corporate records organizer, estate planning and execution, tax preparation, access to the wealth planning center, hedging concentrated positions, insider transaction management, social security maximization, investment management, employee benefits consulting, education planning, asset allocation analytics, philanthropic planning, insurance and risk management, and debt analysis.

“Once [a business] has the buy-in from someone on the executive team that sees the high value in these programs personally; they find resources, it becomes a priority, it has leadership support and when it comes from the top it’s much easier to find a place to start,” Piwnicki says.

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