Overview of Services
Our clients require comprehensive, integrated, and objective advice. We scale our services to meet the variety of our clients’ needs, whether it’s investment management and planning for a young business owner or a full suite of family office services for a multigenerational family, including family meetings and education, philanthropic advising, and family office administration.
Our fees are customized for each client’s needs and cover all of our services. We do not charge separately for investment advisory services or wealth planning.
Our proprietary process frequently allows us to identify problems and find untapped opportunities that have been overlooked by others, and we are skilled at the process of converting our recommendations into reality. Often, difficult technical issues arise during implementation. For example, it may be necessary to rearrange the ownership of existing assets as part of an estate planning project. Changing the ownership of assets raises a number of investment, income tax, gift tax, and estate tax issues that must be resolved. We are able to take charge of this process and work with your other advisors to make sure that all of the technical issues that arise are resolved in a way that is consistent with your values and objectives.
We provide a wide range of services, including:
Investment Strategy and Implementation
- Focus on net returns, after fees and taxes
- Macroeconomic analysis
- Scenario analysis
- Asset class research
- Manager and product research
- Alternative asset classes research
- Direct investment analysis (client requests)
- Portfolio design and asset allocation
- Risk analysis and risk management planning (esp. concentrated positions)
- Ownership structure analysis and asset location planning
- Tax optimization of portfolios
- Investment policy statements
- Comprehensive reporting
- Strategy and goal setting
- Identifying best strategies
- Integrating your plan into your family dynamics
- Implementing your plan
- Managing your trusts
- Coordinating estate administration
Property, Real Estate, and Household Management
- Advice and oversight in buying/selling properties and other assets (planes, boats, collectibles, etc…)
- Advice on ownership and financing arrangements
- Designing household staffing plans
- Giving strategies, foundation strategy and management
- Negotiating complex gifts with charities
- Mission related investment strategies
- Conservation strategies
- Multiyear forecasting
- Tracking and budgeting of all expenses and investment flows
- Optimizing cash balances and management strategies
- Compensation planning
- Planning and forecasting
- Designing tax-sensitive investment strategies
- Gathering and organizing all tax data
- Arranging tax payments
- Analysis of tax issues
- Asset protection strategies
- Managing leverage, debt positions, and credit strategies
- Life insurance analysis
- Liability insurance planning
- Property and casualty insurance planning
- Health care planning
- Financial and investment advice for all generations
- Advice on family governance
- Facilitating family meetings
- Educating family members about financial issues
- Ownership structures
- Cash flow and tax planning
- Shareholders or Operating Agreement
- Buy-sell agreements
- Business life insurance planning
- Estate planning
One of the reasons our clients stick with us is that our investment approach works. The strong investment performance we have achieved for our clients is the result of our independent research, anticipating events rather than reacting, being early, and being patient.
Our seasoned investment team has a global perspective. Our size and reputation provide investment opportunities that other firms may not see, and our client network (many of whom are investment professionals themselves) provides us with on-the ground market intelligence and access to undiscovered investment opportunities.
Our clients share a long-term, patient, and truly multigenerational approach to building and sustaining wealth. They rely on us to challenge industry convention and to maintain a healthy skepticism toward the claims of an investment industry that all too often overpromises and under-delivers.
Our Investment Philosophy
Integrate investment management and wealth planning
- Thoroughly understand your financial and non-financial objectives
- Analyze how the moving parts of your life (trusts, taxes, cash flow, family dynamics) will impact your investment strategy
- Assess your financial and emotional tolerance for risk
- Develop a truly custom investment strategy that incorporates all of these factors
- Evolve our strategy as markets change and the moving parts of your life unfold
Employ a rigorous and transparent investment process
- Generate superior returns by identifying sustainable investment themes, innovative strategies, top-tier managers, and applying modest tactical allocation tilts to strategic policy
- Evaluate risks through quantitative tools and qualitative scenario analysis
- Manage risk comprehensively. We start with your balance sheet, move on to your cash needs, and finally we create a global investment portfolio that is diversified across traditional and non-traditional sub-classes
Enhance returns through tax-optimized portfolio construction
- Allocate to asset classes on the basis of our expectations of their after-tax returns
- Employ index strategies for most public asset classes to reduce fees, expenses, trading costs, and taxes
- Incorporate active managers that meet our extensive due diligence process when their after-tax and after-fee returns are compelling
- Improve overall portfolio returns by locating investments subject to high taxes in tax-deferred or relatively low tax-rate accounts
- Research your financial position, assets, liabilities, cash flows, and liquidity considerations to understand and manage around your constraints
- Assess your current investments and existing managers
- Evaluate the optimal asset ownership and location to maximize returns
- Formulate an investment policy and strategy that reflects our market forecasts and your constraints
- Stress-test the policy to confirm the long term probability of meeting your goals
- Review our analysis and recommendations with you to ensure the portfolio meets your objectives
- Manage the implementation process to minimize tax and transaction costs
- Employ low cost and tax efficient vehicles for most public investments and use active managers in inefficient and niche areas of the market
- Assess and control risk through ongoing macro research, scenario testing, tactical policy shifts, and portfolio rebalancing
- Enhance your net return through tax optimization: after tax return in asset allocation, appropriate asset location, and opportunistic tax loss harvesting
- Provide clear, comprehensive, and customized reports for portfolio, asset class, and underlying manager performance
Social Impact Investing
We have a deep expertise in social impact investing. We made Will Tickle, CFA, our Director of Social Impact Investing in 2007, and we have a nine year history of investing interested clients in portfolios constructed largely from impact investments.
We are able to source impact investments to address a broad array of interest areas, including the environment, education, sustainable living, and empowering the underserved in the US and abroad.
We are able to coach clients through the process of determining what percentage of their portfolio, if any, they would like to dedicate to impact investing and we help them identify their target areas of interest.
We are able to identify social impact investments that provide market-like returns, and, if clients choose, we can also recommend managers who accept slightly diminished returns in exchange for targeted impact in a specific area of interest.
Examples of impact investing include:
- Exercising shareholder rights to improve behavior of public companies
- Conserving ecologically valuable land
- Improving educational outcomes for inner city students
- Improving access to capital for communities that are under-served by traditional financing
- Expanding access to services for poor and under-served populations in the developing world
- Investing in organic farming
We provide objective and comprehensive advice about impact investment opportunities, including:
- Is impact investing right for me?
- How can I integrate impact investing into my portfolio?
- Access to impact investment opportunities, both public and private
- Due diligence investigations of impact investment opportunities
- Manager selection
- Coordination of impact investing with your overall wealth management strategy
Strategic Wealth Management
Most families never experience the benefits of Strategic Wealth Management. Instead, they experience wealth management as a series of disjointed transactions that are mostly designed either to pursue investment returns or to reduce estate taxes. When we take on a new family relationship, we frequently find that the family has no wealth management strategy.
At Ballentine Partners, we practice Strategic Wealth Management, a rigorous process designed to help your family develop a written statement of your family’s wealth management objectives, incorporating a multi-generational perspective and through teamwork with your other professional advisors, using measurements to determine how your family is progressing toward its goals. When you decide to adopt a recommendation, we take charge of overseeing all of the details of implementation, keeping you informed as we go.
When you become a client, one of our client advisors becomes your family’s wealth strategist and serves as your family’s primary contact with the rest of our team. Our client advisors are highly credentialed and experienced professionals – not “relationship managers” who are sales people in disguise. Your client advisor also facilitates teamwork among your various specialty advisors.
Your Wealth Management Strategy
- Your Goals
- Your Values
- Family Members' Needs
Tactical Implementation Decisions
- Investment Strategy
- Estate Plan
- Lifestyle Management
- Tax Planning
- Insurance & Risk Management
Ultimately, the success of wealth planning rests on the ability of the members of the next generation to continue to grow the family’s wealth and manage it wisely. Every major culture has an expression that is some version of, “From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” If your family wishes to strive for an outcome that is better than that predicted by the proverb, Ballentine Partners is prepared to help.
Here are some of the ways we can help:
- Benchmark your family’s wealth management against other families with similar situations
- Customize tutorials on a broad range of wealth management topics for individual family members
- Advise you on structuring estate plans for long-term wealth management and preservation
- Protect family assets from lawsuits, divorces, and other financial accidents
- Work one-on-one with family members who want to improve their investment and other financial management skills
- Help you navigate the challenges of raising children in the presence of wealth
- Share with you lessons learned from successful inheritors on how their families raised them to be productive and motivated
- Work with you to adapt to sudden wealth through inheritance or a liquidity event
- Provide access to our network of experts on family governance and multi-generational wealth planning
Our team is attuned to the various influences that wealth may have on family dynamics. Our goal is to help you to harness and control wealth as a positive force in your life.
We developed the Family Wealth Scorecard® to help families measure how they are doing across the full spectrum of wealth management issues. It can also be used by families and their advisors to help family members establish a comprehensive set of goals for the management of the family’s wealth.
Here are some of the questions that the Scorecard® can help a family answer:
- Which wealth management issues are most important for our family?
- How well are we doing compared to our goals in each area?
- What are the areas of relative strength and weakness’ in our family’s wealth management program?
- To what extent do individual family members agree or disagree about our progress on various wealth management issues? Why do perceptions differ?
- How well are we doing compared to other families whose situations are comparable to ours?
- How do our advisors rate our progress within their respective areas of expertise?
- What should we be thinking about next?
- How are our various advisors performing to help our family to meet its goals?
By keeping track of changes in the family’s scores over time, the family is able to measure its progress toward the goals that the family has set in each area, and to identify planning areas that may require more focus.
Individual family members can use the Scorecard® to measure their personal mastery of the wealth management issues that are important to them.
Ballentine advisors working with the family can use the Scorecard® to provide family members with their professional perspective of the family’s performance on wealth management issues within each advisor’s sphere of expertise. We can also provide family members with benchmarking information that compares the family to other families with similar situations.
Services for Single Family Offices
Our firm is designed to provide wealthy families with a highly efficient and cost-effective alternative to setting up a dedicated family office. For families who already have a family office, we provide services and advice that complement the family office’s capabilities.
Our services include:
- Investment strategy, asset allocation, investment oversight and risk management
- Wealth planning services, including cash flow planning, tax planning, estate planning, insurance and risk management
- Family meeting planning and facilitation
- Administrative support for philanthropic activities, including establishing charitable entities, grant solicitation, due diligence investigations, grant processing, and devising ways to measure results
- Transaction processing, including standing orders, wire transfers, and processing of capital calls
- Design and management of bill payment systems
- Assistance with recruiting and managing household staff, employee benefits, and confidentiality agreements
- Recordkeeping, including creating and maintaining a document library for all of your important documents
- Coordinating the activities of your various specialty advisors and helping them to access the information they need to perform their functions
We customize the range of services we offer to each family, so you pay for only what you want and need.