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Wealth Advisory

Top Ranking Banks in Latin America

After a decade of unusual success, the LatAm banking sector has slowed its growth

The year 2011 closed with disturbing news. Banco Santander decided to sell its subsidiary in Colombia, which finally Chile's Corp Group bought for US$1.225 million. At the time, the chairman of Santander, Emilio Botin, said the measure was taken to "strengthen the balance sheet" of the crestfallen Spanish giants. As he explained, "Our market share in commercial banking in Colombia is far from the 10% which we aspired to get in the markets where we operate." ...

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Mexican Finance Ministry

to Propose Changes to Controversial Bankruptcy Law

The Mexican Finance Ministry should submit a white paper proposing changes to the country's 12-year-old bankruptcy law, sources familiar with the situation said. With just days remaining before a December 1, 2012 turnover to a new administration representing a change in political parties, outgoing high-level officials in the government of President Felipe Calderon said they will push for near-term changes to the bankruptcy law, the sources said. Dozens of top-tier bankers and lawyers — veterans of Mexico's largest bankruptcy proceedings ...

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Order from Chaos

Family Office Metrics Helps Navigate an Unruly Market

As wealth management has grown more complex in the last decade, particularly with the advent of high-tech solutions and vaster networks of relationships, there has been a proliferation of technology and service providers in the market. Quality is out there, of course, but the mere quantity is a double-edged sword, generating both healthy competition and confusing chaos, or worse ...

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Paving the Way

High-­Tech Financial Infrastructure Hits LatAm

The growth in size and sophistication of LatAm capital markets has both fueled and been fueled by the implementation of high-tech financial infrastructure in the region, as the hardware and software that have been the foundation of high-frequency e-trading and other tech-heavy investment activities in the U.S., Europe and Asia are quickly gaining ground. In a recent white paper, Alice Botis, Head of Latin American Business ...

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Private Aviation Takes Off

In Latin America

The growth of private wealth in LatAm has led to a rise in demand for private aircraft and private aviation services. For the region’s mounting numbers of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, a plane can be purely a luxury item, of course; but for increasingly global and mobile professionals and business owners, it meets a demand unsatisfied by local transportation alternatives, as well ...

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The View from Abroad

US Hedge Fund Experts Give Their Views on the Industry

One of the major stories in the alternative investment community in LatAm over recent years has been the growth of the region’s hedge fund sector. When it comes to wealth management, high-net-worth investors and family offices have more and better options within a regional industry that is forming its own identity vis-à-vis foreign firms. And yet both the LatAm wealth management and hedge fund industries are still greatly affected by movements and trends in so-called developed market...

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LatAm Wealth Management Overview

Jorge Becerra, Maria Pia Leon and George Wachsmann on Managing the Region's Emerging Wealth

The world has gotten wealthier, but not the whole world. The engine of growth for private wealth is by far the emerging markets such as LatAm and, particularly, East Asia ex-Japan, which is outpacing the rest of the world by a long shot. The most recent edition of The Boston Consulting Group’s world wealth report shows that, while North American wealth dropped by 0.9% in 2011, LatAm’s grew by 10.6% ...

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Against the Grain

Kenneth Fisher on Prevailing Trends in the Wealth Management Industry

In the world of global wealth management, few managers command as much attention and respect as Kenneth Fisher. Listed on Forbes' 400 wealthiest Americans, the firm he founded in 1979, Fisher Investments, is widely regarded as the largest founder-run registered investment advisor (RIA) in the world, with more than US$44 billion in AUM. In spite of his and his firm’s immense success, he describes it as a “conventional” ...

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Lack of Transparency in Colombia

Root Causes

The slight cultural differences of the Colombian market versus the US create some interesting conflicts. A foreign investor will have to deal with these differences if trying to do small-company private equity investments. These differences will affect transparency. Also, issue resolution at the executive management and shareowner levels will be a challenge ...

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An Investor's Best Friend

Swiss Asset Management Launches the First-of-Its-Kind Diamond Investment Fund

No material is more symbolic of wealth, luxury and romance than diamonds. For hundreds of years, this hardest of stones has carved itself a place in the Western imagination as the emblem par excellence of seduction and love, while assuming a similar symbolic weight more recently in non-Western countries such as India (where diamonds were first discovered) and China ...

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Emotional Intelligence

Martin Butler on the Art of Being Chosen

Modern retail is undergoing a paradigm shift, fueled by the forces of globalization and technology. And yet those who will succeed in this brave new retailing world are not necessarily the most technically and logistically dominant. Rather, what separates the best from the rest is their emotional understanding and precision. Such is the philosophy of Martin Butler, a renowned expert on marketing, advertising and particularly retail success, whose recent book, The Art of Being Chosen, discusses the more intangible qualities that he believes characterize...

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Post-Crisis Trends

In Offshore Banking

In the immediate aftermath of the financial meltdown in 2008, offshore financial centers came under intense scrutiny as governments – led by the newly elected Obama administration – rushed to tighten banking regulations. For a short while, offshore financial centers became synonymous with tax havens, blamed for contributing to the global economic collapse and costing governments millions as wealthy individuals and corporations dodged tax collectors ...

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The Flight to Control

Benno Raeber of Prime Advisory Group Risk Management for LatAm Families

Benno Raeber, a Principal at Prime Advisory Group, a family office, describes his firm as “essentially a risk management group.” With offices in Zurich, the Bahamas, and Ireland, the firm serves mostly five large clients, two of which reside in LatAm, while the others have invested or are looking to invest there, specifically in Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. Distilling what he sees as the main trend in the region in terms of managing risk, he says that, important as liquidity no doubt is, investors care more about control and tangibility ...

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Massive Opportunities

Paul Karger of Twin Focus Capital Partners

LatAm has the highest density of high and ultra-high net worth individuals per capita of any region in the world, and as their numbers and fortunes have swollen in recent years, many have turned to family offices to manage their wealth. The independence and versatility of the family office model attracts them, especially in the face of recent volatility in the global markets. While some family offices outside the region have won LatAm clients, the numbers and sophistication of local family offices has been growing rapidly, as well. As Paul Karger, a co-founder and managing partner of Twin Focus Capital Management, LLC, a Boston-based multi-family office with LatAm-based clients, says of the LatAm local family office market, “The opportunities are massive. People need independent advice.” ...

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Blurred Lines

Paul Koch of Altasol on the Many Faces of the Family Office

Like most things undergoing rapid growth and change, the family office space has seen its share of semantic confusion – with the same words meaning different things to different people. According to Paul Koch, president of Altasol, a Miami-based provider of performance and risk management services to international banks in the commercial banking and wealth management space, this has been one of the unfortunate consequences of the vogue taken on by the term “family office” in recent years. “You have a family office which may be owned by a major family in Brazil to service their own needs ...

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The Investment Priorities of Wealthy LatAm Families

Klemens Zeller of RBC Discusses Disclosure Protection and Other Regional Trends

In the face of persistently volatile markets, rising fees, and more aggressive financial regulations around the world, there are three elements thatcharacterize the investment approach of wealthy LatAm families, according to Klemens Zeller, Director of International Solutions in the Miami office of RBC Wealth Management. The first element is a concern over costs. “In an environment where it´s harder to generate high investment returns and preserve the value of your family patrimony,” he says, “there is much higher focus on ...

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Family Talent

An Intangible Alternative Asset

Sometimes the best investment requires a subtle change of focus.  According to Lisa Gray, the founder of graymatter Strategies LLC, one of themost important assets that a family can invest in is rarely considered an asset at all. “There are alternative assets within the family that most families overlook: the family members themselves, the hidden talents and abilities that are there.”  By investing there, she says, families can “have returns at multiple levels: in the relationship with the family member and in the material form to the family’s wealth.”

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Advising the LatAm Family

Insight from Family Office Experts

Two related trends have characterized the management of family assets in the LatAm region over the last decade, and particularly since thebeginning of the global financial crisis in 2008. One is that wealthy families have grown dissatisfied and disillusioned with the large private bank model and have turned increasingly to the single or multi-family office model for managing their wealth. As Carol Pepper, CEO and Founder of Pepper International, a New York-based family office serving international clients, explains, “Ultra high net worth families and individuals, particularly since the crisis, are definitely becoming more interested in the family office model ...

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How to Pitch To a Family Office

Seven Criteria You Must Know

To understand the asset manager’s keen interest in attracting family office investment, let’s start with a history lesson: the Gold Rush of 1848-55. A gentleman named James Marshall kicked the whole thing off in January 1848 when he found gold at Sutter’s Mill in northern California. Word of the discovery quickly spread around the West Coast and then dispersed around the world. Prospectors came from all over the globe on the hope of striking it rich. Originally, nuggets could be found simply by walking around and picking them up off the ground ...



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