Alistair Morgan will lead clients through the maze of their affairs with family office services
As Spear's has previously reported, all kinds of private-client firms are trying to get into the trusted adviser business so they become the first point of contact for advice and solutions for HNWs. One approach to this has involved bundling the non-investment services you offer into a useful unit; for Mishcon de Reya, their family-office services unit is called Mayfair Private, and it now has a new CEO, Alistair Morgan.
Morgan, formerly an accountant at Rawlinson & Hunter and head of Lord Rothschild's family office, joins six months after Mishcons set up the unit with Opus Private to offer services including family governance, family office advisory, wealth protection, philanthropic structuring, sourcing and protecting lifestyle assets and bespoke concierge services.
The purpose of Mayfair Private – apart from to sound like a sexy Berkeley Square-based detective agency – is 'to provide one point of access to a range of services that clients… considered that they need: what we're trying to do here is bring together legal, fiduciary and family-office-type issues under one roof'.
This includes a certain amount of 'taking a client's hand and guiding them through issues such as setting up banking and financial arrangements, assisting them with the acquisition and administration of their assets, whatever those assets may be, and also providing things at a very basic level such as basic services'.
Morgan says he now has a better understanding of what Mayfair Private's HNW clients want because of his time with Lord Rothschild, where he had 'a hands-on opportunity to see what it's like to be a client without being a client myself, and sitting on the other side of the fence from professionals'. (Most professionals should indeed be put behind a fence.) You also learn how to apply idealised advice to less-than-ideal reality.
Mayfair Private is in some respect a substitute for an individual family office, perhaps because a client doesn't feel wealthy enough to have one, doesn't have the right people in place to set one up or doesn't want the sheer hassle of one.
Unlike other family-office service offerings, Morgan says Mayfair Private is engineered from the client's perspective: 'I think a lot of the multi-family offices tend to start from the investment perspective and then bolt on the more hand-holding services as a separate service, whereas we're looking at it from the other perspective.
’We're taking clients who perhaps Mishcon de Reya are assisting with a piece of legal advice… and will really need their hand holding to be guided through the maze that is financial planning and wealth management.' Now that's a service that sounds (ahem) a-maze-ing.
We'll go now.