Navigating the Private Wealth Landscape: An Interview with Our Industry Leader

January 10th, 2024

The private wealth landscape is a dynamic terrain, shaped by evolving trends and an ever-changing economic environment. As we begin the new year, it’s critical to start thinking through your wealth strategy, both for yourself and your business. Perhaps you’d like to get a better handle on your current financial situation, or maybe you are looking to optimize the way your company manages finances. Whatever it may be, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the current landscape and start developing your private wealth goals so you can be prepared for whatever the future brings.

To gain a better understanding of developments in the private wealth sector as well as factors and trends to consider at this time, we sat down with Casey Ganer, our Private Wealth Industry Leader, for a discussion on why he has dedicated his career to private wealth, his thoughts on current industry trends, and more.

The Bonadio Group’s Private Wealth Industry Group offers an extensive variety of accounting, management, and advisory services to help individuals, their families and related entities achieve their financial goals and protect their assets. When you work with TBG, you have the resources of our entire firm to support you.

Meet Our Private Wealth Industry Leader

With over 15 years of experience, Casey is one of TBG’s private wealth experts. He currently specializes in outsourced family office services and his focus is serving as a personal CFO for high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

The Bonadio Group

Why Private Wealth?

When Casey started his career in public accounting, he found that he wanted to build close personal, relationships with clients — something that isn’t always possible in the tax department, where contact is often limited to annual tax preparation services. This prompted him to move into the world of business management to pursue the opportunity to develop closer relationships with clients that would allow him to also use his nontax skills.

Creating personal relationships has always been an important factor for Casey. “One of the many lessons I learned from my parents, Robert and Maxine Ganer, who are now Senior Counsels at TBG, was that personal connections are the most important factor in learning what is happening in client’s financial life. That knowledge is key to creating a mutually beneficially client relationship,” he shared.

For Casey, working with his private wealth clients centers around the client’s family. “We are truly part of our client’s financial family—we attend family board meetings, serve as executors and trustees, educate the next generation to help them understand the family business, and so much more.”

Serving an Underserved Market

While it may seem counter-intuitive that high net worth families that have access to best-in-class professionals are underserved in any way, they often don’t utilize the range of services that can be provided to them.

Many of the self-made entrepreneurs Casey and his team deal with have built incredible businesses with detailed succession plans, business continuity plans, robust IT, and well-defined strategies. However, their personal finance strategies are often just an afterthought.

“If we ask those same business owners if their spouse signs on their personal bank account, how secure their home IT networks are, or how much their house in Colorado costs every year, they usually respond with blank stares,” shared Casey.

“Our job is to answer those questions for the family and propose better controls. We assist with disaster planning, review account signatories, retirement plan beneficiaries and trust documents. We treat the family as a true business operation.”

Exploring the Current Private Wealth Landscape

Family Offices

Many of the referrals Casey and his team receive are from individuals considering establishing formal family offices. They often know someone else who did it and thought they should too.

“At this point we generally start a fact-finding mission. What are they trying to accomplish? Do they want unified reporting from their advisors? Do they have too many advisors?” said Casey.

He added, “at this point we can come to a group decision on next steps. Sometimes a single-family office is the best answer. Or maybe it’s utilizing a multi-family office to offload some of these responsibilities. And sometimes they don’t need either of these – they’d be better off utilizing an outsourced family office team to get this work done.”

IT and Software

IT and software are also areas where Casey has seen a lot of growth. Many of his clients have robust IT departments in their companies, but when it comes to their homes, they have off-the-shelf routers, no firewalls, and overall ignore their home IT security. “This is a major weakness, since these families are a lucrative target, and any weakness can be exploited,” said Casey. Recently, Casey and his team have seen families take this issue more seriously by implementing the same tools that large enterprises are using, such as commercial grade firewalls, third party monitoring, and at-home penetration testing.

Additionally, many individuals are being bombarded with many different software packages that are supposed to streamline their entire lives. Casey cautions that before implementing any of these programs, it is best to understand how the family is working. “It is crucial to determine if these programs are a placebo or a real solution. A prescription that actually solves the problem is better than a placebo.”

Outsourced Accounting

Lastly, an area where Casey has seen some growth in the private wealth landscape is the use of outsourced accounting for efficient reporting.

“As I’ve said, our goal is to have the family operate similarly to a business. The first step in doing this is implementing a robust personal general ledger system that includes portfolio accounting. Often, families don’t know how much the ski house in Colorado, the boat, or any other hobbies cost. What is their net investment in their brother’s business? There are many opportunities for families to leverage this information to produce better financial results” he added.

If you need further guidance or are interested in learning more about wealth management, we’re here to help. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our trusted experts to discuss your specific situation.

This material has been prepared for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. Should you require any such advice, please contact us directly. The information contained herein does not create, and your review or use of the information does not constitute, an accountant-client relationship.

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