How much are you and your family financially worth? How is your global portfolio performing? Where are your risks? Can you answer to these questions independently and with accuracy?
The more diversified your asset base, the more complex it is for you to monitor the state of your wealth with precision.
With the right technology and service provider, you now can get accurate answers to these questions on your smartphone or iPad.
Maurice Emery, CEO of Kestrel, the wealth management advisory group based in Switzerland, explains how they tackle this wealth monitoring issue for the families who trust them with the administration of their financial and non-financial assets.
Could you introduce your company?
Kestrel was started in the mid 1980’s in London as an investment management business for wealthy international families. The business moved to Switzerland shortly after that and grew into a boutique provider of Trust and Company Management services.
We have always been, and remain, owned by management and this fierce independence allows us to put out client’s interests first.
Our clients are diverse and are from all backgrounds and include wealth creators and later generations. Our management team is multi-disciplinary and this range of Accounting, Legal and Financial skills enables us to adapt to our clients’ changing needs and to provide bespoke services and solutions.
What type of assets do you have under administration?
Our independence allows us complete flexibility when it comes to the asset classes held by the entities we administer, having no restriction on the type or location of the assets. Our structures hold everything from traditional bankable assets through real estate, artwork and antiques, yachts and other lifestyle assets.
How do you help your clients monitor their positions and performance with accuracy?
Technology has always been central to our services, enabling us to provide services accurately and efficiently across time zones.
Our recently launched iPad App and Web Portal enable clients and their advisers to access information on their portfolios and to consolidate multiple portfolios across diverse managers and custodians regardless of where these are held.
Behind the App and Portal is our complex Portfolio Management Software and infrastructure including dedicated accounting and support staff who monitor and process the data and ensure that the information provided is kept accurate and up-to-date.
Can you keep track of any asset class with your solution?
Our sophisticated systems enable us to monitor and report on any asset and we presently do so for all types of financial assets including private equity, hedge funds and illiquid investments including art collections and real estate.
Does the asset need to be held with Kestrel?
The beauty of the system is that it enables us to provide financial reporting across all custodians. We only need to be provided with copies of the contract notes, statements or valuations to be able to process the data and provide access to the information.
In cases where financial assets are held with custodians with whom we have or can set up a direct data feed, the process of obtaining valuations is, of course, simplified.
The system is also available to single and to multi-family offices for personal and entity accounts and our services do not require us to act as trustee or directors of any entities that benefit from the system.
Who is this service for and how to gain access?
We do not operate a policy on minimum size, but naturally the service is more interesting for families/advisers with diversified and/or larger asset sizes. We certainly do not have any restriction as to maximum portfolio size.
New clients of the portfolio monitoring service will find this incredibly easy to set up, as all that is required from their perspective is that the current custodians of financial assets be asked to provide us with copies of contract notes and statements/valuations on a regular basis. For non-financial assets we would need to receive information on the assets themselves (e.g. art collection) and their values and be advised when assets are disposed of and new assets acquired.
The installation of the iPad App is as easy as any other from the App Store and our trained team will guide new users through the set up and initial log in process.
How do you manage security and confidentiality issues?
The system is secured using a top-end user ID and encryption key software from RSA SecurID a very well-known provider of encryption systems to banks and other financial institutions which users are likely to already be familiar with.
All data is processed and stored on servers in Switzerland.
How much does the service cost?
Our pricing usually works on a sliding scale based on the value of the assets being monitored. Assets up to CHF100 million (or equivalent) are invoiced at a rate of 0.03%. A rate of 0.02% is applied to assets between CHF100 million and CHF300 million and finally a rate of 0.01% for assets in excess of CHF300 million.
Depending on the complexity of the assets being monitored and the frequency of trades etc we may need to review our standard rates and we are also open to discussion on that aspect.