We work with high-earning professionals, at different stages of their careers, in all of the following fields:
Partners in law firms
Executive search consultants
Private equity general partners
Together, these clients and their families make up the majority of our business. Professional firms act as networks for satisfied individual clients to refer colleagues and this has been the main source of our growth.
Though mid to late-stage career professionals dominate our existing business by number and assets, we also work closely with a number of firms to guide and educate younger partners or associates at an early stage of wealth accumulation, even if they do not have significant current needs for portfolio management.
What our professional clients typically have in common is that
- they are fee-earning experts at the top of their field
- they expect to be able to work with similar experts in other areas of their life
- they expect these to be themselves professional, in both their ethical and technical standards.
Meeting these criteria has enabled us to work (for instance) with partners in most of the magic circle law firms, with McKinsey partners and alumni, with successful and well-informed private equity partners and even with investment bankers and institutional money managers whose own firms provide private wealth services, such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.
Expertise in planning lifetime spending
Our strength in professional services reflects the value being placed on our capability to model lifetime spending goals: the process of accumulating capital during the uneven or stepped phases of professional earnings to finance spending during eventual retirement. The reliance on their own resources to fund all their lifetime spending is what differentiates high-earning professionals from business executives whose retirement spending is typically funded by final-salary pensions and entrepreneurs who expect to extract capital from their business to fund retirement.
Our focus on planning and our organisation of personal wealth by goals helps make sense of personal investing, answering questions about how much risk to take, when and how much to gift. Maybe even when to stop working. Making it all about the benefits you want your money to deliver rather than about investment per se makes it more engaging. High-earning professionals may be smart but they are not necessarily informed or realistic about what constitutes a smart way to invest. Nor are they necessarily interested in investing for its own sake.
Smarter decision making
Our goal-based approach is refreshingly different in a market where services are mainly promoted to professionals by recognised brands on the basis of privileged access to exceptional products and exceptional individual skills. Being at the top of their own profession does not mean high-earning professionals have not been vulnerable at some point in their career to a sales pitch that exaggerated skills-based competitive advantage, exposed them to risky tax-driven strategies and generally provided little economic value. The privilege has been firms’ access to your balances, not yours to firms’ products.
- Smarter to start with a lifetime spending plan, planned by reference to what will provide most satisfaction, with choices informed by horizon-related probabilistic outcomes generated by a model
- Smarter to avoid expensive products and use low-cost building blocks like index trackers to implement a dynamically-managed ‘asset allocation’ that can at every stage deliver the planned outcomes
- Smarter to focus on the best ‘asset location’ strategy: based on the tax treatment of different accounts, what do you hold in each account, where to place new savings, where to draw from, when
- Smarter to pay lower, flatter and more predictable fees, not simply a function of how much wealth you have accumulated
What you can do