FINTECH VIEWS: How Technology Is Propelling Success in Multi-Family Offices


Wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated—recent Federal Reserve data indicates that the top 10% of families account for almost three-quarters of U.S. wealth. These affluent families have complex needs and expect a bespoke and comprehensive wealth management experience that caters to their circumstances, values, preferences and needs.

Enter the multi-family office (MFO).

While not a new concept, the MFO has grown in popularity in recent years as high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) families see the advantages of working with one and adopt the model in greater numbers. This evolution represents an opportunity for financial advisors and RIAs, and they’ve been swift to capitalize on it.

It’s impossible to overstate technology’s important role in helping advisors deliver support to this community of wealthy clients. Innovative advancements enabling the automation of labor-intensive processes, the more efficient delivery of investment research and analytics, compliance testing, portfolio construction, reporting, risk management and workflow efficiencies, and more, have transformed the value proposition for firms of all sizes. Tech stacks, especially those deploying artificial intelligence, are democratizing the space. Indeed, a recent report indicated that 62% of family offices are either using AI now or plan to start doing so soon.

To dive deeper into the role of technology and other modernizing elements in propelling the long-term success of MFOs, Digital Wealth News spoke to three industry thought leaders:

  • Tarah Williams, President and COO, Prospera Financial Services, a boutique wealth management firm supporting a nationwide network of independent advisors
  • Robert Sechan, CEO, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, NewEdge Wealth, a registered investment adviser specializing in servicing the needs of ultra-high-net-worth families, family offices, and institutional clients
  • Robert L. Annable II, Senior Partner at Wealth Strategies Advisory Group, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based independent wealth management firm and family office

We posed this question to each of our experts:

With multi-family offices seemingly becoming table stakes for firms seeking growth, how can firms utilize emerging technology to enhance client services, access to investment vehicles and additional support that UHNW clients and families demand?

Here’s what they had to say.

Tarah Williams, President and COO of Prospera Financial – Research shows that the Great Wealth Transfer will act like a funnel, diverting wealth to a smaller, yet more diverse, group of people who will not look like the generations that created the wealth. This dynamic presents a meaningful opportunity for wealth management firms to deliver a better product to clients and add advisors more familiar with wealth management tools and technologies. Firms need to bring together the best tools and platforms and provide the ability to integrate outside resources and relationships within the family office construct. It will be critical for firms and their advisors to establish programs that support and address the needs of this dynamic demographic.

Robert Sechan, CEO, Managing Partner and Co-Founder at NewEdge Wealth – From all-knowing generative AI to incredibly powerful systems designed to streamline the entire portfolio management process, there are technologies that can and will address the unique needs of UHNW clients and families. However, without the right advisor, supported by the right firm culture, technology alone will not drive client satisfaction.

This market segment demands personalized, highly specific solutions and portfolio construction managed carefully by a dedicated individual. Yes, they expect this person to utilize innovative tech, but as a complement to—not a replacement for—hands-on, active involvement in the process. We have found that through the development of our technology stack for this client segment, these solutions must provide better access to information while also simplifying the client’s life.

As with all aspects of a multi-family office, the utilization of technology must be tailored to fit the needs of a particular client and evolve with that client’s circumstances and goals. However, investments in this technology must be made at scale, driving increased value for UHNW families to engage with a forward-thinking firm that can provide tech-enhanced services.

Robert L. Annable II, Senior Partner at Wealth Strategies Advisory Group – We have long seen the value of technology creating efficiency and scale for back-office and operational functions. Now we see how it provides financial advisors with a more competitive edge among increasingly sophisticated clients. This UHNW group has high expectations and a breadth of wealth management needs that require firms to provide a wide range of services, from cash flow budgeting to complex tax strategies. Firms that want to grow must embrace technology that helps automate client communications and onboarding, manage strategic partners, optimize collaboration, and support due diligence and compliance. We utilize several technology services and platforms, enabling Wealth Strategies Advisory Group to grow while providing a high level of service for UHNW clients and families.