More than a few economists are now predicting a recession in late 2022 or in 2023. Then again, others say a downturn will be averted. Either way, most people think that a family office is well protected and would not be affected much by a recession. History says otherwise.
During the 2007-2008 recession, practically every family office took steps to minimize the impact of a deteriorating economy. The typical family office response entailed cutting costs, reevaluating ongoing expenditures, and modifying investment strategies and focus. These swift changes in strategy strain the family office and shift focus resulting in a loss in efficiency and effectiveness. Despite responding to the recession in many areas, an opportunity was missed.
A recession, or the possibility of one, should indeed be a driver for change. Family offices should use this volatile time as an opportunity to hedge against economic woes and find ways to become more efficient and effective—to add even more value to the family or families they serve. Reframing a recession as a chance to reposition the family office, reevaluate staff members’ roles, and identify more places to add value to the family shifts the perspective on a downturn from one of angst to one of opportunity.
Skilled Staff Limited by Siloed Software
An economic downturn, or the cusp of one, is the perfect time to evaluate staff responsibilities and analyze where their time is spent. Very often, key personnel in a family office perform tasks they should not be doing. Yet, they are forced to execute mundane assignments because the key tools used by the office are siloed software applications, often programs like Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks. Personnel must make heroic manual efforts to aggregate and reconcile data from various systems to get things right, like transactions and reporting. They spend too much time worrying about the past when they should be looking forward, planning for what’s next.
Within a slipping economy, what would an office gain if its personnel used integrated family office software that maximizes operational efficiency, minimizes risk, and provides full transparency?
A family office typically has great, dedicated, and talented people. If one single, integrated platform could provide them with the enterprise-class processes, reporting, automation, and client delivery capabilities they need, they could spend more time delivering high-value services and counsel and thereby manage the family’s wealth more effectively.
This would revolutionize office management with a truly integrated platform, one that can facilitate the implementation of best practice business processes and workflows across multiple disciplines. It would enable a key goal: transparency, where “complexity is made simple” and where there is one reliable source of the truth, where data never leaves the system for analysis and can be sliced and diced as needed.
Less Time in the Past, More Time for the Future
When the burden of manually compiling reports is lifted from key personnel, staff members can focus on the true purpose and value of reporting—efficient, timely, and accurate reporting drives improved decision making. It provides clients with 24/7/365 anywhere access (mobile too) to reporting and secure communications. It facilitates staff providing high value-added work, together with significantly reduced cybersecurity vulnerability. The end result is what family members want: a highly engaged staff delivering excellent, timely reporting and service execution that is driven by automated, integrated best practices to provide best-in-class risk management.
What does this mean day-to-day for the family office staff? It means having all the information (documents PLUS accurate financial transaction information) in one place to do planning (cash, estate, tax, investment, insurance, etc.). It means a strategic solution from which the office has all the information to coordinate tasks and solve problems ahead of time. It means improved workflows and processes throughout the entire family office. And what about the family members? It means they have access to their wealth how and when they want it. Whether that be daily through a mobile app (like the next-gen will require), quarterly reports or something in between, flexible data and software caters to their needs without burdening the family office.
Too many family offices remain mired in manual operations that are cumbersome and inefficient and which lack transparency for effective decision-making and timely reporting. When thinking about a potential recession, offices need to take a 360-degree planning view. To be the best family office they can be, they need to focus on the opportunity to transform their operations using the right family office software. Turn an impending recession into a chance to restructure your family office and rethink the value you can bring to your clients.
AtlasFive® is the right family office software for family offices seeking to improve operational efficiency and advanced reporting. It provides the only truly integrated platform for single and multi-family offices. It revolutionizes the efficiency of managing and operating these offices, and it meets and often exceeds the changing needs and expectations of the ultra-high-net-worth families being served.