Fidelis is often called an Outsourced Family Office
as we are designed to surround clients with the experts needed to handle all their financial matters in order to give back what they cannot buy….time. For existing Family Offices and Enterprises, this often means helping to design and source solutions that complement their efforts, providing them the time to be better spent on their areas of focus.
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For Family Offices and Enterprises, the investment mandate can vary from broad to quite narrow in order to complement other investments. We are prepared to execute wherever our role falls on that spectrum. We understand the challenges and complexities faced by a Family Office and will tailor our support to help the Family Office deliver more effectively for the client. We feel it is important to understand the larger picture to be most effective, so our philosophy on investment management is likely an important consideration.
Our approach to investing is guided by a disciplined process and a philosophy informed by over 200 years of experience. We believe that the only investment results that matter are the ones that are after fees, taxes, and other expenses. We work to reduce those elements by (1) managing some client assets in-house, avoiding third party manager fees, (2) being attentive to tax reduction strategies, and (3) focusing on lower cost solutions. For most of our clients, risk is as important as return, so we spend even more time seeking out ways to lower a client’s risk exposure through negatively correlated assets, asset allocation, and option strategies.
Some key differences in how we manage money are:
- 1We have access to world class buy-side research and reporting allowing us to provide Family Offices a more nuanced view of their positioning and risk posture. Additionally, we can function as an extension of the Family Office for strategy and investment analysis as well as ad hoc data fulfilment.
- 2Our in-house planning and entity structure expertise can be utilized by our Family Office clients to help inform future structuring and investment decisions, helping them execute and optimize the plan as effectively as possible. We are also able to provide a second opinion and work alongside the Office’s other partners to help increase efficiency in strategy implementation.
- 3Unlike many other investment advisers, we distinguish ourselves by managing most of our client’s assets in-house. We draw on lessons that have been learned in over 200 years of collective experience. Furthermore, we procure research from leading financial firms renowned for their expertise in investment research and quantitative analysis. By managing investments in-house, we not only meet performance expectations but also eliminate the incremental costs associated with engaging third-party asset managers, while reducing the potential for unintended concentration risk if independent managers end up investing in highly correlated positions.
- 4We can incorporate asset classes that many others don’t have the resources to tackle. Examples include energy, timber, real estate, private and/or distressed credit, and private equity. We have also partnered with one of the leading global independent manager evaluation firms to help us identify and monitor the best-of-class third-party managers for inclusion into your allocation where appropriate.
- 5We believe that fixed income is an overlooked asset class by many investment advisers. Additionally, institutions (banks and brokerages), in an effort to mitigate firm risk, increase efficiencies and scalability, and adhere to certain benchmarks, have instituted policies that force investments into fixed income portfolios that are suboptimal. These firms have lost their focus on their clients. Family Offices and Enterprises typically have multiple stakeholders, objectives and risk tolerances. Managing fixed income portfolios for these clients requires a high degree of customization and an in-depth knowledge of the needs and objectives of the various participants and investment entities. At Fidelis, we take a customized approach to each fixed income portfolio we manage. The result is better risk adjusted performance and no surprises in this part of the portfolio. In short, we measure success by achieving the asset protection, income, and required return goals of each client individually.
- 6Any successful investment plan must complement the client’s overall wealth plan. This sets the required return and risk parameters that drive proper investing. For Family Offices and Enterprises, this requires very customized approaches, taking advantage of what are likely many structures (businesses, trusts, and other related entities) to maximize the probability of the client achieving an optimal outcome. Our in-house, deep expertise in helping to structure business interests in conjunction with wealth and estate plans allows for efficient and effective realization of client (and their family’s) goals. The integration of planning into our investment decisions provides seamless coordination between strategy and implementation.
Natural resource assets, such as oil, gas, water and timber, including farm and ranchland, can often be a core part of any quality asset portfolio.
These real assets tend to be an inflationary hedge and can provide significant income and capital appreciation for those that hold them as part of a disciplined investment plan. To effectively protect these assets for future generations, you need experienced advisors with in-depth knowledge. Fidelis advisors partner with industry experts to handle the unique challenges associated with both the day-to-day management as well as long-term strategies for maximizing these assets’ values. We help our clients invest in and manage these assets directly, without the commingling risk, inefficiency, or fee drag of packages or securitized products offered at most other investment firms.
In serving Family Offices and Enterprises, our work typically takes the form of complementing the work of the teams within the organization.
This takes many forms in the Wealth Planning space from providing ideas on income tax management, effectively structuring the wealth of the family to accomplish wealth transfer goals, to preparing members of the family and the organization to play the roles they are or will be asked to play. More broadly, everything we do at Fidelis is based on a plan developed through a deep understanding of the needs of those being served. Wealth Planning at Fidelis means more than just idea generation but is really the core of the design of all we do. The services we select to serve our clients represent the planning needed to accomplish their goals and, thus, from investment management to strategic use of credit, to family education and meetings, to health care consulting, this is all a part of our work to develop and execute on a customized Wealth Plan.
One of the main concerns for people with significant wealth is managing their income tax liability. The overlay of the impact of business income and cash flow complicates this process. Your Fidelis team takes a multistep approach to managing your income tax planning and preparation.
From accumulating all the information your tax preparer needs to coordinating preparation of quarterly estimates, we go even further to add value to optimizing the process. We meet with your tax advisor(s) to discuss ideas that we identify from our experience and knowledge of current strategies that effectively mitigate taxes. We go beyond considering just the bunching or deferral of deductions and deferral or acceleration of income and asset purchases. We also assess tax advantaged investment options like energy related credits, opportunity zone investments, cash balance pension plans and other vehicles and techniques that provide value well above and beyond the tax savings.
Being a Fiduciary means our work here is focused on finding the right banking and lending relationships for you.
For cash that is held, that may mean researching the best deposit rates or optimizing FDIC protection. On the liability side, whether strategically using credit to make an investment, acquire an asset, make a company distribution, or cover expenses in a down market to avoid selling depreciated investments, it is critical to properly structure and manage one’s credit portfolio. Overseeing that portfolio and managing that entire process for you is what we at Fidelis call “Fiduciary Lending”.
We can collaborate with a firm who oversees bill pay and reporting services which can save you countless hours of frustration and work – giving you back what you cannot buy- time. with the ability to access Billy pay via personal computer or mobile device, you an “always-on” view of all your spending and income to give you peace of mind.
Whether contemplating selling the company you’ve built or passing it along as a legacy, having the plan in place to do as you wish is an all too often overlooked imperative.
We take a very different approach to succession planning that we call Business Transition Advisory Services. If a sale is being contemplated, for example, we actually start with the premise that many companies looking to sell shouldn’t be sold. As experienced planners, we take a close look at what you as the owner is trying to accomplish by selling your business. Is it liquidity, risk reduction, stress, retirement, or just the right time in the industry to sell? What will your financial life look like before and after a sale? Will the cash received, net of taxes, create enough income for you to live comfortably? How will the sale affect other stakeholders? Perhaps most important is the question of what’s happening in the business today that has led to this decision. In the end, what we drive towards is a clear understanding of where you as the owner are and where you want to go, so we can show you what your options are and create the greatest likelihood of a successful transitions – with success defined by you.
Personal risk management is about protecting the balance sheets that you have worked so hard to create and manage. At Fidelis, we are all about helping you identify and manage risks to all the balance sheets you may oversee.
There are two major ways to manage this risk. First, we manage the process of purchasing the right coordinated insurance coverage. This requires truly understanding what is and isn’t insured and the extent to which we can mitigate the risk of a claim against your business and/or personal assets. Second, we help you directly address the issue of cyber-risk by ensuring you become more aware or what this risk means to you and how to mitigate it. In coordination with third-party subject matter experts, we show you how to take substantial steps towards protecting your assets from this ever-growing challenge.
HEALTH CARE CONSULTING
Both the quality and the cost of health care grows more important as we get older and as costs continue to rise.
At Fidelis, we consider this a liability on one’s balance sheet and it is our goal to help you manage it. Sometimes that liability is financial, such as the escalating cost of health insurance, and sometimes that liability is related to the quality of the medical care being provided. It may even be an issue of whether you have access to the services and coverages needed. We work to manage these liabilities by coordinating with selected specialist to help you find the best quality of care and control the costs associated with that care. We then, where appropriate, oversee the purchase of the designed insurance coverage in conjunction with insurance advisors and brokers.
The term "sandwich generation" aptly describes being sandwiched between caring for both your children and your parents.
Sometimes the care and oversight needed overshadow the good and may even create unhealthy levels of stress and strain. We have seen this result in decisions being made in haste or in desperation, like moving parents "back home," often to states where both tough winters and high taxes begin to take their toll. At Fidelis, we place a focus on solving for this. We have curated a combination of third-party providers to take much of this burden off your shoulders. From handling the review and payment of bills, including medical bills, to medical advocacy and oversight of those providing care to those you love, we believe we have designed a solution set that accomplishes the best outcome – one where you have confidence in their care and financial well-being enabling families to spend the quality time they need with their loved ones.
We are committed to providing our clients with reporting that is comprehensive, convenient, and customizable.
We are able to create an aggregated view of your net worth, including all assets and liabilities, even those at other custodians, banks, and brokerage firms. To the extent that these assets are priced daily, the report can reflect those updates as they refresh nightly. For other harder to price assets, we work with you to maintain and update those values as needed. This reporting is available to you through your dedicated online portal, continuously accessible via both desktop and mobile applications.
We also work with you to customize your investment reporting into a concise and easy-to-understand format so you can gain the insights you need to make better decision. We upload these reports to your secure, cloud-based vault for continuous access. There, you can also store any other important documents, including organizational documents for any entities or trusts. This provides for easy access, retrieval, and secure sharing. Should you utilize bill pay, we can also upload all the related reporting from that service. All data and reporting store in your vault is also cyber-protected and mobile-friendly.