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Defining Wealth—Beyond the Balance Sheet

Through its Family Office Services, BOK Financial Private Wealth is providing clients with a suite of services that protects and preserves more than just their financial assets.

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Incredible wealth oftentimes carries a commensurate amount of anxiety—pressure to not only preserve or grow that wealth but also to make the most of it. Those challenges are only exacerbated when dealing with family dynamics across multiple generations, where the heads of a family possess a strong desire to pass along that wealth to their children and grandchildren along with the necessary strengths and skills to handle the responsibility.

The complexities of an ultra-high-net-worth family are ratcheted up another notch if the primary source of wealth emanates from a family-owned business. And when it comes to those businesses and the family dynamics that are formed as a result, each one is unique. Serving a family business requires an understanding of common yet individual circumstances impacting the family itself.

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BOK Financial Private Wealth recognizes all of these challenges, which is why it created a dedicated Family Office Services team that focuses not just on the bottom-line net worth of a family, but the level of complexity within that family—the number of generations and branches within it, its business structures, foundations, residential assets and sometimes investments in commercial real estate. More than ever before, these wealthy clients need expert advice and comprehensive services to address the family’s full balance sheet of financial and human capital.

The institution’s approach to such services aligns with what leading family wealth consultant Dr. Jim Grubman calls Wealth 3.0. It’s essentially a growing paradigm shift in the financial services industry that focuses on what matters most to clients: their families and their futures. It rises above the restrictive, fear-based planning common in the industry, utilizing a more positive, strengths-based approach that empowers clients to succeed rather than conditioning them to avoid failure.

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According to Dr. Grubman, “Families have been told for so long the odds are against them unless they do certain things, which of course their traditional advisors are happy to offer. The team at BOK Financial Private Wealth takes a more collaborative approach, one that values the strengths of the family and recognizes them as a crucial aspect of the process.”

Family Office Services at BOK Financial Private Wealth addresses the financial capital of each client, offering integrated, holistic wealth management (a suite of services that includes investment management, financial planning, private banking and trust services, among others). It also ensures clients are provided access to a family learning program, philanthropic guidance, family governance and legacy planning services.

BOK Financial Private Wealth recognizes that families rarely define wealth only as the amount of money in their bank or brokerage accounts. Instead, their perception of wealth includes the overall family and its health, charitable giving, the establishment of a family legacy and making a positive difference in their communities. Through its focus on human capital, those are exactly what the Family Office Services department at BOK Financial Private Wealth specializes in.

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“Our commitment is in helping prepare family members to collectively manage, sustain and grow their wealth across generations,” says Maureen Kelley, the department’s director. “In order for families to flourish across multiple generations, we have to pay as much attention to their human capital as we do their financial capital. The most fundamental assets of a family are its individual members.”

Family Office Services is collaborating with Dr. Jamie Weiner, the co-founder of a specialty consulting firm focused on the human issues and concerns impacting high-net-worth families. He is author of The Quest for Legitimacy: How Children of Prominent Families Discover Their Unique Place in the World. Through this collaboration, Family Office Services continues to refine and strengthen its ability to meet its mission statement: helping families flourish today and across future generations.

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