In my last post, I painted a picture of the typical Waldron client – the challenges they are often facing and the integrated services they need. In this installment, I want to focus on how we approach entering into new client engagements.
What we’ve learned during our 20+ years in the high net worth space, is that while many of our clients share some common characteristics, each family has their own set of needs and goals that are entirely unique. This is why, before any terms are discussed, or any obligations are made, our team members invest 30+ hours of their time getting to know each prospective client and their specific situation, in what we call the GAP Process. We invite prospective clients to go through this process, free of charge, because wealth management is not the type of service they will want to change year in and year out; this type of engagement is one that builds over time, and is based on trust, competence and rapport.
The GAP Process is a three-step service, which involves Gathering information, conducting an integrated Analysis and creating a preliminary planning Presentation to share our findings and recommendations. From start to finish, prospective clients are given the opportunity to evaluate the capabilities of our firm, the competency of our people and the quality of our high-touch, concierge service. We want them to experience our comprehensive wealth management approach first-hand, so that they’ll know what to expect as a client.
We ask the prospective client (or their family office) to spend approximately one to two hours of their time gathering key documents pertinent to their situation, such as tax returns, estate and trust documents, investment statements, insurance policies and corporate benefits packages. While we don’t want to burden a potential client, and are willing to work with just a tax return and their investment statements if that is all they can easily provide, the more information we get, the deeper we can dive into the analysis, and the more detailed and thorough the initial presentation will be.
Analyzing the Information
During this stage of the process, our advisors take time to organize and analyze the information provided, in order to develop a thorough understanding of the prospective client’s financial life. This analysis is completely customized, and designed to provide insights into their situation, identify risks and opportunities, and provide actionable recommendations entirely unique to their circumstances.
Presenting the Preliminary Planning Recommendations
Once the information has been analyzed and compiled, we then schedule a meeting with the prospective client, to present their custom private wealth report and our planning recommendations. The objective of this phase is to provide a better understanding of Waldron’s process, our philosophy and the quality of our people and service.
Once the GAP Process is complete, we give clients a reasonable amount of time to digest the information, and decide if they’d like to work with us. Oftentimes, prospective clients have follow-up questions subsequent to the presentation, and our advisors are more than happy to discuss any of our recommendations or any portion of the onboarding process. Our goal is not to overwhelm, but rather to identify problem areas and opportunities that the potential client may not be aware of.
We’ve found this to be the best way for prospective clients to get better acquainted with our team and our methodology. Establishing a personal connection with our clients is at the very core of our firm’s principles, and the foundation of our extraordinarily high level of client service.
Interested in learning more about the GAP Process? Follow this link and fill out our brief GAP form to be contacted by a member of our team.