I’ve worked with wealthy families in one way or another for more than 20 years.  It only recently dawned on me that I’ve been serving the wrong client for much of that time.

I don’t think I’m alone. Most advisors to high-net wealth families intend to serve the families who engage us. In reality (at least in my experience), the real client ends up as the wealth of the family. The brief is to create, preserve and pass on the family’s financial assets.

Most services provided are structural and transactional. They’re geared towards keeping the money or assets safe from the uncertainties of family. This objective takes precedence over all other needs, even the long-term health of the family.

But as I saw more and more wealthy families fracture and fail over money, it made me wonder – what’s the point of accumulating wealth if we lose our family?

But as I saw more and more wealthy families fracture and fail over money, it made me wonder – what’s the point of accumulating wealth if we lose our family?

If our family fails, surely, despite the best governance in the world, wealth will eventually dissipate. It suddenly made sense to me why as little as 10% of family wealth survives beyond the third generation.

When families fail, wealth is lost. And not just financial wealth.

There’s often a loss of family values, traditions and ideas – the very ingredients which helped create wealth in the first place. If we really want to help families create and pass-on wealth, then our primary client must be the family, not its resources.

First and foremost, we must help families flourish and prepare family members as stewards of family wealth and the family name. If we succeed in that, then there’s a good chance they’ll take better care of the wealth over successive generations than if we focus on the mechanics of wealth alone.

So where can a family find this type of help and advice? There are surprisingly few options. And that’s why I launched Plenitude Partners.

My vision is to catalyse a network of professionals globally who share a passion to serve wealthy families in this unique and essential way.

My vision is to catalyse a network of professionals globally who share a passion to serve wealthy families in this unique and essential way.

I’ve been energised by the families who have allowed Plenitude Partners to lead them on the journey of discovering their higher purpose. And I very much look forward to the privilege of encouraging new families towards a more rewarding philanthropic life in service of others.

The payoff is more of what matters in life – more joy, more love, more meaning and stronger family bonds which sustain wealth for current and future generations.