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Goals-Based Wealth Management: An Integrated and Practical Approach to Changing the Structure of Wealth Advisory Practices by Jean L. P. Brunel

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Chapter 13The Currently Typical Firm Structure

In some ways, the title of this chapter is misleading: sticking to it and describing the “typical firm” is like Mission Impossible! Indeed, there are many firms today that are dedicated to meeting a few or all of the wealth management needs of individuals and families. Before proceeding with the point of this chapter, it is probably a good idea to highlight the main kinds of service providers currently at work in this space. Probably by far the most frequent are specialty shops that focus on a single aspect of the wealth management challenge. They include accountants, tax and estate lawyers, portfolio managers, financial advisors, philanthropic advisors, insurance brokers, educational consultants, family governance specialists, and many more. Certain ones offer services; others sell products. A smaller number of firms aim to offer many, and at times all, of the functions provided by a single-family family office, except that they cater to multiple clients rather than a single family. The focus of these so-called multi-family family offices is often on services more than products, with a strong emphasis placed on conflict-free open architecture. Finally, a small number of firms are created to cater to the needs of a single family.

Although our focus may appear to be more geared to advisors than to wealthy individuals and families, I feel that the latter will benefit from reading this book as well, if only to gain insights into how ...

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