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Success Secrets of Advisors to the Super Rich

Posted on: April 1st, 2019

Success Secrets of Advisors to the Super Rich

We know we can learn strategies for success from the world’s Super Rich—people with a net worth of $500 million or more. But it can also make good sense to look beyond those wealthy individuals and families to a group of key people in their lives: the financial professionals who serve them.

In particular, the senior executives who run the Super Rich’s single-family offices (SFOs) can give all of us valuable clues about how to ramp up our own success and wealth. To understand why, consider who these senior executives are:

  • They manage the finances of some of the wealthiest, most successful people in the world—the true 0.1 percent and 0.01 percent of affluence.
  • To get—and keep—that job, these SFO senior executives must be truly exceptional at managing relationships, handling interfamily dynamics, building world-class teams of experts and partners, meeting and anticipating complex needs and demands, and ultimately delivering tremendous, awe-inspiring value to their seriously wealthy clients.
  • The best of these SFO senior executives are typically highly successful themselves—pulling in a few million dollars (and sometimes more than $10 million) annually, year after year.

The message is clear: If you are a business owner, an executive or another key decision-maker, you should start learning what these SFO senior executives are up to. Chances are, you can probably benefit from knowing some of their key success traits and habits. Armed with information about the steps they take to achieve great success, you can set out to emulate them in your own life, career or business.

The importance of peer-sharing and networking

One strongly positive quality we find among SFO senior executives—the one that seems to underpin their ability to do so well for their clients and for their own bottom lines—is their willingness to share with and learn from others like them. Indeed, peer-sharing and networking along with formal group learning and collaboration are key differentiators that help fuel excellence among these professionals.

Consider, for example, that more than four out of five—83.9 percent of—senior executives at single-family offices seek to enhance their networking proficiencies and better connect with their peers.

There are many ways they are creating and building these professional connections. Two of the most effective traditional methods are:

  1. Group memberships and events. Top SFO senior execs tend to become part of single-family office membership organizations. They also attend family office, various industry, and broad-ranging conferences and events. Some are even attending somewhat exclusive national and international events—like World Economic Forum conferences and the Milken Institute Global Conference—to learn and network.

Action step: If you’re not already part of the top membership groups in your industry, it’s time to step into that stream. Given the competitive challenges in virtually every sector, membership in industry-specific groups and attendance at key events with power players in your niche can provide you with important advantages.

  1. Lunch meetings. A handful of SFO senior executives (sometimes with some of their Super Rich clients) meet over lunch to focus on an agenda they carefully craft in advance. The agenda covers no more than a few items. Because of the nature of the attendees, a meaningful amount of information (much of it confidential) is shared. These meetings tend to share a few key traits:
  • The venue is exceptional. The restaurant and/or hotel must be top-of-the-line. The service must be outstanding.
  • External experts are very selectively asked to be involved. One of the single-family offices usually invites external experts (investment managers, accountants, lawyers and so forth) to help answer questions in their areas of expertise.
  • The attendees from the single-family offices are highly motivated to take action. Usually after a lunch meeting, senior management or Super Rich family members will work to implement something they learned. They may also decide to work with any external experts who were insightful and helpful.

Action step: Have intimate lunches or special meetings with top peers or other experts who you feel could be tremendously valuable to you. Get as much one-on-one or small group time with them as you can in these environments.

An emerging opportunity: elite mastermind groups

One really exciting growing trend we see among SFO senior executives is participation in elite mastermind groups. The reason is simple: The underlying (and often explicit) value proposition of elite mastermind groups is greater business success with the strong possibility of becoming personally wealthy.

In a worldwide survey of 356 SFO senior executives, about one-fifth are involved in elite mastermind groups. Just about all ultra-wealthy families with single-family offices are expecting more and more from management and are willing to invest in top-quality management. With the proven effectiveness of excellent mastermind groups, they will likely become increasingly attractive to family office senior executives.

Elite mastermind groups’ value is especially evident when we consider that nearly 60 percent of the SFO senior executives who participate in them say they have joined more than one such group (see Exhibit 4).

So how, exactly, do elite mastermind groups provide significant value to entrepreneurs? For SFO senior executives, the value of elite mastermind groups is principally threefold (see Exhibit 5).

  1. Opportunities. Many SFO senior executives are looking for new capabilities and business opportunities. They are often looking to build their professional networks so they have more resources they can tap into on behalf of the families they serve.
  1. Education. Most senior executives at single-family offices devour insightful and useful information. They are looking for ways to enhance the lives and futures of the wealthy families they work for. At the same time, they are interested in how to better do their jobs and improve their own lives.
  1. Advice. There are solid areas of overlap between entrepreneurs running successful companies and many of the professionals running single-family offices. Consequently, there are circumstances when the knowledge and experience of these entrepreneurs can be useful to the management of single-family offices.

The broader implications of these findings are clear: Most business owners need a community of people to help them get to the top. That’s true of the top entrepreneurs we know and work with, and it’s true in our own cases as well. Mastermind groups can create that community of friends, peers and mentors—including other entrepreneurs—who can offer support and guidance when they’re needed most, as well as access to growth opportunities.


If you want to be among the best, it’s nearly always helpful to learn all you can from the people who are already standing in the winner’s circle. Top SFO senior executives—who earn big incomes by delivering tremendous value to Super Rich clients—can be ideal role models for entrepreneurs, executives and others who strive for excellence and seek to build serious wealth.

This report was prepared by, and is reprinted with permission from, VFO Inner Circle.  AES Nation, LLC is the creator and publisher of VFO Inner Circle reports.

Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra IS or Kestra AS. The material is for informational purposes only. It represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. It is not guaranteed by Kestra IS or Kestra AS for accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions. It should also not be construed as advice meeting the particular investment needs of any investor. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS.

Fusion Wealth Management is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. https://www.kestrafinancial.com/disclosures

VFO Inner Circle Special Report
By Russ Alan Prince and John J. Bowen Jr.
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