From the Wires
Designing the Optimal Family Governance Structure
Dec. 3, 2012 10:44 PM
David Plyler, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Gleneagles Group, a speaker at the marcus evans Private Wealth Management Summit Fall 2012, on designing a solid family governance structure.
New York, NY, Dec 3, 2012 - (ACN Newswire) - Wealthy families have to be more involved in the investment management process, says David Plyler, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Gleneagles Group. "In 2008, many families told their wealth advisors that they had seen it coming, but they did not necessarily communicate that anxiety or uneasiness to their portfolio managers. Private wealth management should be a much more collaborative effort," he added.
A speaker at the upcoming marcus evans Private Wealth Management Summit Fall 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 2-4, Plyler discusses how a solid family governance structure can be set up to better deal with market uncertainty and volatility.
- What should a wealthy family's decision-making process entail? How can a solid family governance structure be set up?
Private wealth management should be a much more collaborative effort. There should be as little uncertainty as possible regarding how much capital the family might need to take out of the portfolio, because that is what messes up an investment portfolio, especially when the market is down.
The collaboration has to be on two levels. There has to be clarity on cash needs and a clear understanding that at least part of the portfolio is for the long-term and not one where emotional judgments can be made every quarter. There needs to be an investment policy statement stating exactly what the family wants to accomplish with the portfolio for managers to follow.
Besides financial capital, there is also intellectual and social capital to manage. We have a program to have children of wealth ready to assume meaningful roles in the family by age 25, as we find that they tend to live sheltered lives and be unprepared for heavy responsibility.
- How can they take market uncertainty into account?
They have to recognize that there is more volatility and uncertainty in portfolios today, so they need to take a longer-term view of markets. For example, when it comes to investing in emerging markets, investment managers have to discuss with their clients the long-term attractiveness of those markets, to make sure that they can stand any volatility. If the client's liquidity needs are clear from the start, they will not pop up when those markets are volatile and on the downside.
- What assets can take advantage of market volatility?
There are many different strategies to play on volatility. For instance, we utilize option trading strategies where volatility is more of an asset strategy within the portfolio, and produces lower but steady rates of return. They throw off cash flow and try to take advantage of volatility in the market.
We also use managed futures, one of the few asset classes with positive returns in 2008. It is a very volatile strategy on a monthly basis, but in a downturn it makes money after an initial hit.
There are also attractive opportunities in private equity, as many companies are having difficulty competing. The small and middle market private equity space tends to have a stabilizing effect on a portfolio. We expect 12-15 per cent returns over the next five to seven years.
About the Private Wealth Management Summit Fall 2012
This unique forum will take place at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada, December 2-4, 2012. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on the global economic outlook, family governance structures, sustainable wealth management and succession planning. For more information please send an email to email@example.com or visit the event website at www.privatewealthsummit.com/DavidPlylerInterview
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