Both wealth managers and high-net-worth (HNW) families have much to gain when a strong relationship exists between advisors and all members of client families across generations.

In our view, one of the most effective ways wealth managers can solidify their relationships with – and demonstrate their value to – their HNW client families is through properly designed and executed family meetings. We believe the best way to design and execute successful meaningful family meetings that have the potential for long-term positive outcomes for both HNW families and their advisors is by applying Whole Family Advising principles.

These principles include:

  • Engaging with all members and generations of client families;
  • Facilitating important discussions about family wealth and legacy across the generations of client families;
  • Ensuring that all adult members of a family—not just the parents or matriarch/patriarch—contribute to creating the family meeting agenda; and
  • Guiding conversations that encourage active two-way communication between and among the generations.

Family meetings organized around Whole Family Advising principles may also help foster effective long-term relationships between wealth managers and multiple generations of client families.

In their latest paper, “How Whole Family Advisors Create Successful Family Meetings,” Richard Orlando, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Legacy Capitals, and Ned Dane, Head of OppenheimerFunds’ Private Client Group, outline the steps wealth managers can take to ensure they properly design and conduct effective family meetings.

They note that at every step along the way, the most critical components are good communications and inclusiveness. That means reaching out to family members across multiple generations with the goal of ensuring that their different views and perspectives are reflected in every stage of planning, conducting, and following up on meetings.