Beyond the Numbers Blog

Alpha Ignored? Rethinking Family Office Operations

Posted on 7 August 2019

There are many investment opportunities to gain Alpha. But Alpha can also be achieved by keeping a close eye on expenses – as Jack Bogle, the iconic founder of the Vanguard Group and avid proponent of low-cost funds, has proven over the years.

Read More

Making Wealth Last

Posted on 27 June 2019

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
Warren Buffet

Acquiring wealth is one thing. But once acquired, how do you ensure it will “provide shade” that lasts for generations to come? Conventional advice recommends developing a shared vision based on family values and goals, conducting regular assessments to ensure the family is operating within mandate, establishing a succession plan and assigning accountability. While these strategies form the basis of sound governance and can certainly help to preserve wealth, technology further strengthens the ability to reach that goal.

Read More

Moving Family Offices Forward

Posted on 28 May 2019

Interview with Howard Geller, Principal, Hudson Peak Group

As principal and founder of Hudson Peak Group, Howard Geller works with individuals and family office clients to advise on financial and strategy issues, including analyzing various financial products.

Due to his in-the-trenches expertise and objective insight, Geller was recently quoted by Family Wealth Report (FWR) in Family Office Focus: Efficiency in Accounting and Investment Analysis. This research study, prepared in partnership with FundCount, offers an in-depth look at the technological and operational challenges of family offices.

FundCount caught up with Geller for a brief interview to get his perspective on some of the findings in the research study and to discuss other issues impacting the family office sector.

Read More

New Research Study: Manual Processes Top List of Family Office Challenges

Posted on 25 March 2019

If you think your family office is spending too much time on manual tasks for accounting and reporting, you’re probably right. But you’re not alone. According to a new study by Family Wealth Report and sponsored by FundCount, family offices spend an average of 20 percent of working hours per week on manual tasks. The number of hours can be even greater for larger offices – up to 40 percent – due to more complex investments, allocations and entities.

Read More

Ad-hoc Reports: The Crowning Differentiator

Posted on 20 December 2018 in Tips and Tricks

Technology in our everyday lives provides instant access to nearly everything. It has raised the bar on expectations. We’ve become spoiled with voice-activated personal assistants like Siri and Alexa that can answer questions and do simple tasks without us having to move a finger, with applications that offer remote, on-demand access to various home systems such as heating and lights, and with other similar technologies.

Read More

The Art of Implementation

Posted on 27 November 2018 in Tips and Tricks

Balance sheets have expanded and increased in complexity to the point that the traditional patchwork of retail solutions is not up to the task. Many family offices and advisories are evaluating whether adopting a more institutional-grade accounting system to handle their portfolio cash management back and middle office operations makes sense.

Read More

Bill Paying: It’s Only Boring Until Something Goes Wrong

Posted on 27 September 2018 in Tips and Tricks

It’s hard to get excited about cash management and the mundane task of bill paying. But, for any family office manager or controller that has issued a check from a wrong account, missed a critical payment, caused an overdraft, or erroneously paid a vendor twice, you know firsthand how time consuming it can be to right a situation that has gone awry.

Read More

How Much Should You Pay for New Software?

Posted on 21 August 2018 in Tips and Tricks

One unspoken question firms often have when buying new software is, “How much should we pay?” Invariably, the only reference points are the quoted costs from various software vendors for new software, which may not be an accurate gauge for assessing value.

Read More

Client Service: Where the rubber meets the road

Posted on 26 June 2018 in Tips and Tricks

Client service is so integral to the DNA of some companies that they are renowned and revered for their service excellence. Online retailer Zappos, Nordstrom department store and sports outfitter REI come to mind, as does Rackspace, which has gone so far as to brand its “results-obsessed customer service” as Fanatical Support®

Read More