Updated on Friday, September 11, 2020
WE Family Offices is an independent registered investment advisor that caters to the wealthy. The firmâ€™s team of nearly 50 employees provides investment advice, financial planning and family office services. The firm has locations in Miami and New York, although most of its clients live outside the United States. It currently has $8.8 billion in assets under management (AUM).
All information included in this profile is accurate as of September 11, 2020. For more information, please consult WE Family Officesâ€™ website.
|Assets under management: $8,834,748,220|
|Minimum investment: None specified but requires a minimum annual fee of $150,000|
|Fee structure: Fixed fees, a percentage of AUM, performance-based fees|
|Headquarters:||701 Brickell Avenue, Suite 2101
Miami, Florida 33131
WE is an abbreviation for Wealth Enterprise, stemming from the teamâ€™s belief that to successfully sustain and grow wealth over multiple generations, families must treat their finances as business enterprises.
The firm dates back to 2000, when it was founded by Santiago Ulloa under the name TBK Investments. Seven years later, a major bank holding company bought the group, and operated it under the GenSpring branding. In 2013, the executive management team took the firm back to its independent roots and renamed it WE Family Offices.
The firmâ€™s three principals â€” Santiago Ulloa, Maria Elena Lagomasino and Michael Zeuner â€” as well as other employees, hold ownership interest in the firmâ€™s current owner, WE Family Offices Holdings, LLC. Today, the firmâ€™s team of nearly 50 includes 30 employees who focus on investment advisory and research.
WE Family Offices caters to high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and families; the firm does not currently serve any individuals who do not meet the SECâ€™s definition of high net worth individual, which is anyone with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million. While thereâ€™s no specified minimum investment requirement, the minimum annual fee that clients typically must pay is $150,000.
Many of the firmâ€™s live outside the United States, primarily in Latin America and Europe. In fact, 67% of WE Family Officesâ€™ current clients live abroad. Thus, the group has teamed up with two international firms â€” the UK-based investment advisor, Wren Investment Office, in London and the Spanish multi-family office, MdF Family Partners, in Madrid â€” to share resources and expertise. WE Family Offices has an ownership interest in Wren, and it sometimes shares client fees with MdF.
WE Family Offices makes recommendations on most aspects of wealthy familiesâ€™ financial lives. Advisors will weigh in on wealth management and investment strategy topics including family missions and objectives; asset allocation and investment choices; estate and tax planning; and risk management. They will also evaluate your current third party providers and charges. The team can also provide administrative support services, such as reporting and cash flow review.
The firm wants family members to be involved in the management of their wealth. Thus, WE Family Offices provides investment advice only through non-discretionary relationships, meaning clients receive information and advice from the team but must make the final decisions themselves.
Families who donâ€™t yet use the firm for investment management but would like to trial it, or who are simply looking for financial planning assistance, can consider a â€śwealth diagnosticâ€ť engagement. With this service, clients receive an overall review of and plan for the familyâ€™s wealth, including their portfolio, providers, ownership structure and goals.
Here is a rundown of services offered by WE Family Offices:
Advisors make portfolio recommendations tailored to each clientâ€™s circumstances. To do so, they take into account factors such as a clientâ€™s time horizon, risk tolerance, asset class preferences, expected returns, taxes, cash flow and liquidity needs.
The team only recommends unaffiliated investment managers and funds to implement its asset allocation and investment strategy recommendations. In general, the team advises clients to choose from a wide variety of active and passive strategies including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), hedge funds, venture capital funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and venture capital funds or other private funds, as well as separate account managers.
For outside manager recommendations, the team relies on its approved list of investment managers determined based on various qualitative and quantitative factors, including performance, philosophy, management continuity, reputation and fees. The firm also relies on the unaffiliated consultant investment advisor, LCG Associates, to provide asset allocation and investment manager selection information and advice to the team.
WE Family Offices also assists families with values-based investing if the client would like to factor in environmental, social and governance issues into their investment choices.
WE Family Offices prefers that clients pay a flat annual fee thatâ€™s agreed upon in advance. However, some clients instead pay a fee based on a percentage of assets under management. The asset-based rate typically ranges from 0.45% to 1.50%, depending on factors such as the amount invested.
The standard fee schedule for clients who pay a flat annual fee is as follows. Note that the minimum annual fee charged by the firm is $150,000.
|WE Family Offices Flat Fee Schedule|
|Net Worth||Annual Flat Fee|
|$50 million to $250 million||$250,000 to $500,000|
|$250 million to $500 million||$500,000 to $700,000|
|$500 million to $1 billion||$700,000 to $1 million|
|$1 billion or greater||$1 million and more|
On top of these advisory fees, clients pay their own custodian and brokerage fees. The firm does not offer wrap accounts, which bundle those fees with the advisory fee. Clients are also responsible for third-party investment manager fees, including mutual fund, ETF and other private manager fees, which typically range from 0.10% to 5.00% of assets per year.
Clients interested only in standalone financial planning assistance can opt for the â€śwealth diagnosticâ€ť engagement, which carries a fixed fee of $50,000 to $100,000.
WE Family Offices lists no disclosures over the last 10 years, giving it a clean disciplinary record. Registered investment advisors are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to disclose on their Form ADV any legal or disciplinary actions against the company, an affiliate or an employee that would be material to a potential clientâ€™s evaluation of the firm or the integrity of the management team.
To contact WE Family Offices, fill out the contact form provided on the firmâ€™s website or call the Miami or New York office, depending on your location. Potential clients can also find a wealth of information about the firmâ€™s services, fees and philosophies on its FAQ page.
Once established as clients, the firm says your advisor will regularly be in touch. Clients can expect to meet with their advisor at least quarterly to discuss their portfolio. Every year, advisors and the senior management team sit down with clients for a comprehensive review.
Clients choose their own custodians, but the team can recommend one if requested.
WE Family Offices is focused on serving wealthy individuals and families. Families with a presence outside the United States may find the firmâ€™s resources and knowledge around serving international clients particularly attractive. Families looking to be involved in their wealth management may like that the firm leaves control of the accounts to the clients through non-discretionary relationships.
Investors who donâ€™t have a high net worth, however, as well as those who want to meet in-person with their advisor but are located outside of Miami and New York, may consider looking elsewhere. Many different types of investment advisors exist, and it is the clientâ€™s job to find possibilities appropriate for their unique needs.