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Wells Fargo taps into family office boom

Wells Fargo Bank has launched a new business unit in a bid to capitilise on the multi-family office boom.

Through the new Family Wealth Group, which has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, Wells Fargo claims it has developed a set of capabilities to address the unique needs of families. These include a multi-disciplinary "think tank" that researches issues affecting families, and analytical tools that map wealth dynamics and financial structures across the family tree. The aim of these tools is to help clients "build a bridge between the past and the family's vision for its future".

"Traditional financial firms and family offices tend to focus only on the wealth," added Michael Cole (pictured), executive vice president of the Family Wealth Group. "We address all the important issues that come along with wealth, including its impact on the lives of our clients' and their families. Our goal is to assist families in aligning their wealth and their values."

Cole believes families need a service that treats them as institutional investors as well as individuals. Therefore, the bank will treat business families as both, as they have specific needs that "blur the line between individual and institutions". The group says that families have a much greater desire to work with alternative investments and can buy "institutional-sized allocations of securities".

"We have aligned our investment offerings with the needs of this specific client base," said Dean Junkans, Wells Fargo Private Bank chief investment officer. "We combine the investor-focused resources of Wells Fargo Private Bank with Wells Fargo's broad institutional capabilities, and complement this with dedicated, unique resources for ultra-wealthy families."

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