Wealth Manager-Where really big money goes to find company

Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:01pm GMT

By Charles Paikert

NEW YORK, June 20 (Reuters) - You've worked the golf clubs and joined all the right charitable organizations. Maybe now is the time for you to take a seat inside the manor house.

Family Office Exchange and the Institute for Private Investors, the largest peer-to-peer membership associations for families and individuals, offer connections to people with billions of dollars and many of them are actively looking for new ideas for how to manage their considerable wealth.

Membership would seem to be a no-brainer -- but a financial adviser considering joining should first understand the cultures of these ultra-high-net-worth enclaves.

Chicago-based Family Office Exchange is, as its name implies, geared towards wealthy families who either belong to a multifamily wealth management office or have a single-family office to handle their business, tax, accounting, legal and asset management needs.

Wealthy families and individuals who are seen as more self-directed tend to belong to New York-based Institute for Private Investors, which was bought earlier this year by Campden Media, a London company which presents conferences and networking forums for ultra-high-net worth families around the world.

Both organizations are for-profit companies founded over 20 years ago that provide members with research, education and networking opportunities. Family Office has about 300 member families with combined investable assets estimated at around $120 billion, and Institute for Private Investor's has 1,000-plus individual members have an estimated $50 billion in combined investable assets.

IPI members must have at least $30 million in investable assets. While FOX doesn't require a minimum, the organization notes that it takes about $100 million to run a family office.

Both have about 150 professional service firms as members, including financial advisers and broker-dealers. FOX charges wealth managers $15,000 to join and IPI, which declined to be interviewed for this story, charges $5,000, according to industry sources.   Continued...

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