The Summer 2009 issue of The Fee-based Report builds on the changes announced at the time the Winter 2009 report was released. The only update to the structure for this issue is the separation of discretionary brokerage and private investment counsel into two distinct sections. These two wealth management disciplines are growing in different ways, and their stature and influence within the world of managed assets demands that they move away from the common umbrella of discretionary managed assets.
The special research feature for this report deals with the mysterious world of family offices, particularly multi-family offices. Our goal with this story is to set the scene for further research, rather than seek to publish an exhaustive (and exhausting) guide to an industry that is garnering increasing attention from banks and brokerage firms, not to mention families that might qualify as ultra-wealthy.
Our analysis suggests that while there is an opportunity, given the concentration of wealth with entrepreneurs, questions arise in the area of sustainability and profitability. Even though the business model has attracted a large following in the United States and is beginning to make its presence felt in Europe, there may be barriers to success in Canada.
We are spending an increasing amount of time researching areas that impact the affluent segment, since we believe it will become one of the key battlegrounds of the next decade. Our recently published 2009 Household Balance Sheet Report includes a special section on the affluent/high net worth.