A few months ago I wrote an article about Family Office Loyalty. As we close out the year, I wanted to address an element that goes hand in hand with loyalty, and that is the element of Trust. Earlier this month we attended the Family Office Club Super Summit in Miami, FL. I was lucky enough to listen to the panel discussion called “Family Office Titans: What the Largest Family Offices Invest In and How They Operate”. What truly resonated for me during this panel discussion was the topic of Family Office Trust. The bottom line was crystal clear, if a Family Office has trust in you and your product or service will be of benefit to them, they will do business with you.
This trust however is not freely given, by any means, rather, it must be earned. We as advisers and consultants who are fortunate enough to operate within the Family Office ecosystem cannot simply present our offerings and assume that they will be embraced by Family Offices. This is where the “earning” comes in.
We must prove ourselves to be worthy of the trust that the Family Office will hopefully place in us. We must be experts in our field, to a fault. Our organizations must clearly demonstrate how our offerings are of tangible benefit to our clients. It may be investment guidance, innovative investment instruments or tangible cost savings by implementing new technology. Whatever we present to the Family Offices, at the end of the day, must make them either a better organization, in some tangible manner or a more profitable one.
One of the panelists pointed out that, from his experience, actually doing business with a Family Office will not occur anytime sooner than 9 – 12 months after initial contact with the organization. This may seem like a long time, but in truth it is not. Let’s think about it. Is 9 – 12 months really that much time to earn the trust of a Family Office? Indeed it is not, because once earned, and if fiercely guarded, you and your organization will be trusted advisers to that Family Office for a long time to come.
So let us fully understand and embrace the value and importance of trust. Our expertise and patience in earning the trust of a Family Office will yield ongoing rewards for both parties.