At Matter Family Office, we assemble a customized client team for each family. This is vastly different from the common practice in our industry. Typically, other firms assign clients to permanent teams that operate as silos led by a single advisor. Often, compensation for these teams is tied directly to the client revenue they manage or that they bring in with new clients. We believe this “silo” model creates inherent internal competition that limits collaboration and idea sharing. This structure also meaningfully shrinks the pool of talent that the client relies on to serve their needs. At Matter, we have built a firm that reshapes the client team model to eliminate conflict, enhance collaboration, and ensure that every client is truly a client of the firm. There are some really great benefits both for our associates and for our families.
First and foremost, we believe in a “We Team” approach, meaning that our families will always be best served by a well-balanced team that collaborates internally and externally. Each client is a client of the firm, not a client of a small team or a single advisor. Importantly, none of our associates are compensated based on the size of revenue of their existing or new client relationships.
We have a very wide range of expertise, degrees, certifications and backgrounds at Matter. We intentionally mix up team assignments to provide opportunities for everyone to share what they know and learn what others know.
The dozens of team configurations provide great experience for everyone in working with a diverse range of temperaments, habits and communication styles – the same skill set required for forming excellent relationships with clients.
We choose a team for each family that best fits both the family’s technical needs and personalities. This enables us to get to the heart of the family’s values, desires, fears and dreams more quickly and translate them into the solutions they need.
How do we do it?
Knowing our Associates
It’s not a perfect science. We have to balance the needs of the firm and the needs of our clients. Sometimes we even assign a team and change it later as our clients needs evolve. One of the big foundational pieces of our approach to building teams is the Emergenetics assessment. Everyone who joins the firm takes this assessment, which provides insight into thinking and behavior preferences. When a team is balanced on thinking and behavior preferences, that team is extremely high-functioning.
A Family-Centered Approach
Another piece is consideration of what the family’s greatest needs will be. For example, if a family has needs that are largely concentrated in investment strategy, we would consider associates with more training and experience in that area when assembling their team. However, though a family’s team may be concentrated toward a certain strength, we depend on all of our 39 associates, not just a family’s team, to take care of all the work and coordination required to maintain the family’s financial health.
Yet another layer is the bonds that naturally build between family members and associates, sometimes beginning in the prospect process. Sometimes the individual who shepherded the family through the process of becoming a client becomes a key relationship on their team, the starting point for building the rest of the team. Sometimes that isn’t the case, and we see a family become comfortable with someone at the firm they met in some of their introductory meetings. In addition, teams are multi-generational to facilitate interactions with family members at a variety of ages and stages in life.
We spend a lot of time carefully considering each client team. It’s time well spent – our investment on the front end pays dividends in the relationships we build with each other and with our families. Our associates learn and grow along with our clients. This is the foundation of a firm built to serve families for generations.