Experts share advice for family wealth governance

Often in large families with considerable wealth, there is a group — usually older — that winds up being stewards for the family. Resentment can grow, because some members who haven’t been active participants find themselves in their 30s or 40s and not involved. Later they’ll find almost any reason to be critical. We advised one multigenerational family to set expectations about returns, because someone is going to go to a cocktail party and hear about some hedge fund up 40% and say, “Why aren’t we making that?” Rather than defend yourself, say, “This is the return we are aiming for; this is the risk we are taking. We may aim for larger returns with a portion, but the core portfolio is in conservative assets.” Family members need to understand strategy at a high level. It’s more peaceful after that.

Anthony DeChellis – CEO, Boston Private Financial Holdings

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