Three Lessons from a Multimillion-Dollar Art Sale

 John Constable's "Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows" jumped 1,000 times in value in just two years
John Constable’s “Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows” jumped 1,000 times in value in just two years
In a recent article, attorney Matthew F. Erskine of The Erskine Company, which provides legal services for owners of unique assets, offers three lessons from a recent London auction. A painting bought for $5,212 in 2013 sold in February 2015 for $5.2 million, a thousand times the original price!

Erskine’s three lessons:
1) Your plans should adapt to the inherently uncertain valuation of artwork.
2) Record and preserve your information, especially if you do not intend to sell your artwork during your lifetime.
3) Spending money now will preserve what you have and what you know.

We couldn’t agree more, but would like to add that the same lessons apply to all high-value tangible assets in every category. Proper documentation through photo images, copies of purchase receipts, current appraisals, and descriptions of condition, location, provenance and other details keeps owners informed and helps close the information gap that too often exists between owners and their professional advisors.

Going forward, digitally cataloging fine art and other treasured assets, ether displayed prominently at home, hidden away in storage or located around the globe, can help owners and their trusted advisors better manage the complexities associated with the ownership of such high-value assets.

This digital library, which can include scans of confidential documents and data, may also prove helpful by providing family members, advisors and caregivers with critical information in the event of the owner’s mental or physical incapacitation.

Archival Property Solutions (APS) is a trusted resource for documenting and cataloging the tangible assets of high-net-worth owners who have substantial and complex holdings in multiple locations. We host the resulting digital catalog record on a private secure website that is perpetually accessible to owners and owner-authorized users on any connected device. Ongoing administrative support is provided as needed to ensure that asset information and access permission requests are accurate and up to date.

An APS digital catalog serves as a useful and valuable resource for Family Office activities and a wide range of supporting professional services including estate planning, tax strategy, insurance evaluation, wealth management and legal work.



Click here to see a listing of all Archival Property Solutions blog posts.


About Archival Property Solutions, LLC

Archival Property Solutions documents and catalogs the tangible assets of high-net-worth owners for their personal viewing pleasure and support of crucial Family Office and wealth management activities. Clients who have substantial and complex holdings in multiple locations can now keep their catalog of non-financial assets stored securely for private, confidential access via computer, tablet or phone. When maintained with current information, this confidential digital catalog can keep owners and their trusted advisors better informed, enabling them to stay current with professional service objectives and to plan for, protect against, cope with and recover from life’s unexpected events.

Contact Archival Property Solutions at:

(866) 843-2100 or
e-mail us

When we receive your inquiry, we will determine the best way to match our services to your unique needs and circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you and will respond promptly and confidentially.

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Asset Protection: More Than a Legal or Investment Strategy

expensive-home-foyer-staircasesAs wealth grows, so too does accumulation of high-value assets such as fine art, jewelry, valuable collections, residential structures and luxury items like airplanes and boats. Owners take great pride and pleasure in these tangible assets, which can represent everything from business success to planned investment diversification to a cherished family legacy.

Such tangible property holdings, however, are often associated with high levels of complexity and risk. For instance, expensive properties in picturesque settings can be especially susceptible to violent weather, natural disasters and unforeseeable calamities. Unfortunately, those with the most to protect often are not fully aware of their increased exposures.

In this context, the definition of “asset protection” should be expanded to consider the consequences of prized assets being lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed. Important questions must be asked: Who will be responsible for mitigating these exposures? Is insurance coverage suitable or do unintended coverage gaps exist? How would the physical loss of such assets affect the owner’s wealth management or family legacy objectives?

An owner’s accumulation of high-value tangible assets in multiple categories and distant locations makes understanding and reporting relevant details to advisors a complex task. Documenting and cataloging these assets and securely storing the resulting digital catalog for private, confidential access facilitates real-time collaboration with family and professional advisors, and supports crucial Family Office and wealth management activities.

Proactive risk management demands that valuable assets be documented and cataloged before a catastrophe or criminal event can inflict substantial damage or loss. The owner can then focus on what matters most: comforting family members, rebuilding or repairing their damaged home, and saving, recovering, restoring or replacing their valued possessions.



Click here to see a listing of all Archival Property Solutions blog posts.


About Archival Property Solutions, LLC

Archival Property Solutions documents and catalogs the tangible assets of high-net-worth owners for their personal viewing pleasure and support of crucial Family Office and wealth management activities. Clients who have substantial and complex holdings in multiple locations can now keep their catalog of non-financial assets stored securely for private, confidential access via computer, tablet or phone. When maintained with current information, this confidential digital catalog can keep owners and their trusted advisors better informed, enabling them to stay current with professional service objectives and to plan for, protect against, cope with and recover from life’s unexpected events.

Contact Archival Property Solutions at:

(866) 843-2100 or
e-mail us

When we receive your inquiry, we will determine the best way to match our services to your unique needs and circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you and will respond promptly and confidentially.

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Family Offices Outsourcing Specialty Services

family-office-elite-magazineArchival Property Solutions was featured in an article by Phil Bolsta in the second edition of Family Office Elite magazine.

Three trusted providers of specialty services were profiled; APS was one of them. The article is printed in its entirety below.


Click on the link below to download the two-page article by Phil Bolsta.
FAMILY OFFICE ELITE (ARTICLE)

Click on the link below to download the entire issue of Family Office Elite magazine.
FAMILY OFFICE ELITE (FULL ISSUE)

 

FAMILY OFFICES OUTSOURCING SPECIALTY SERVICES

Linda Mack
Linda Mack

Family offices are under siege. Rising costs, talent migration, competitive pressures and ever-increasing client demands are straining resources and eroding profits. As this Darwinian perfect storm intensifies, the fittest family offices are differentiating themselves by outsourcing specialty services to trusted providers. “It’s much more efficient and effective to offer these services through third-party sources that specialize in those respective areas than try to bring the resource in-house on a full-time basis,” says Linda Mack, president of Mack International, which provides executive search and consulting solutions to family offices.

Rick Flynn
Rick Flynn

Indeed, offering top-tier clients an a la carte menu of specialty services that are beyond the scope of a family office’s core competencies can give the family office a distinct competitive edge. “For family offices built around exceptional investment management services, a more robust specialty services platform promotes healthier client relationship,” says Rick Flynn, managing partner of Flynn Family Office, a premier family office and business management company serving ultra-wealthy individuals, families and their advisors. “Ultra-wealthy families will generally not hesitate to replace a manager that fails to beat benchmarks. If that professional is also overseeing personal security, or facilitating concierge healthcare for the family, investment performance becomes only part of the equation.”

Russ Alan Prince
Russ Alan Prince


As Russ Alan Prince, executive director of Private Wealth magazine, wrote in his “Serious Money” column on Forbes.com, “Strategic outsourcing, in effect, is an extremely powerful and ubiquitous trend in the family office universe. The issue is to engage in strategic outsourcing wisely.” Flynn agrees. “Family offices should understand that the overall relationship will be judged not on the best, but rather on the weakest service experience provided,” he says. “It’s wise to develop specialty provider relationships over time and engage select firms only after exhaustive vetting.”
One specialty service frequently mentioned in the pages of Private Wealth magazine is the documentation and cataloging of tangible and digital assets. As Flynn noted, two of the most popular outsourced services are concierge medicine and personal security. The benefits of these services are manifold, as evidenced by the following provider profiles.

Archival Property Solutions
Archival Property SolutionsArchival Property Solutions (APS) documents and catalogs the nonfinancial assets of UHNW individuals and families for support of family office and wealth management activities. This documentation keeps family offices and owner-authorized users updated and informed, allowing them to better manage their client relationships.

APS will securely store the client’s digital catalog for private, confidential access. A family office can then access and leverage this digital catalog of images and information (including scans of confidential documents and data) as a resource for a variety of services and activities, from tax strategy and estate planning to wealth management and personal- and business-related legal work. The family office can also help clients determine whether their insurance coverage is suitable—as well as furnish proof of ownership and value—should these assets be lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed. What’s more, owners can view their nonfinancial assets (including medical records and healthcare directives in case of emergency) at any time on any connected device.

A digital catalog allows the family office to be in full command of crucial details of a client’s tangible personal and business assets, rather than proceed with partial, undocumented, uncertain or unknown information that may result in some assets being undervalued or overlooked altogether.


Kroll

kroll-logoKroll, a leading global risk management firm, provides services to high-net-worth individuals, family offices and businesses of all sizes, including Fortune 500 global companies. Through its more than 50 offices across 26 countries, Kroll seamlessly integrates its private client services into clients’ lifestyles.

Kroll’s multidisciplinary team includes experts in the areas of intelligence, information technology, finance and accounting, law enforcement, cyber security and other sectors to ensure that clients and their assets are optimally protected.

Kroll’s private client services fall into five broad categories:
• personal and business protection security needs, including threat and vulnerability assessments, training and education and travel-related risk assessments and protection;
• investigative and financial due diligence on potential advisors, investments and joint venture opportunities;
• cyber security threat assessments, including vulnerability of personal data, ID theft and providing remedies;
• fraud risk assessments, operational and compliance risk management, and IP theft detection;
• internal investigation of financial fraud, embezzlement, investment schemes and related matters.

Of course, the best risk management solutions are those that anticipate, neutralize and prevent threats from ever materializing.


world-clinic-logoWorldClinic

WorldClinic, a global leader in concierge healthcare, provides premium medical care, diagnosis and treatment to ultra-high-net-worth clients on an anytime, anywhere basis.

WorldClinic’s staff of full-time, part-time and on-call physicians, surgical specialists and board-certified emergency physicians, as well as its referral relationships with dozens of major metropolitan medical centers around the world, enables the company to connect their physicians to a client via phone or video within 30 seconds.

Customized care plans are based on a review of the patient’s medical records and lifestyle issues. WorldClinic’s continuous care offering includes a calendared action plan for personal longevity and wellness coupled with an immediate telemedical diagnosis. The firm leverages smartphones to connect with clients via video, check their vital signs and monitor their conditions from afar.

Through its due diligence, WorldClinic has identified the best hospitals in every major city in the world for critical procedures and specialist care, and can deliver medical records on demand to wherever they are needed, along with local translators if necessary.

Clients traveling to remote areas are assured of around-the-clock connectivity through whatever technological means are necessary. When called for, the company will deploy a paramedic or doctor to accompany a client or traveling companion to ensure their well-being.

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Ultimately, outsourcing specialty services ensures that the various needs of family office clients can be satisfied with quality results from reliable, on-demand sources in a timely and professional manner.



Click here to see a listing of all Archival Property Solutions blog posts.


About Archival Property Solutions, LLC

Archival Property Solutions documents and catalogs the tangible assets of high-net-worth owners for their personal viewing pleasure and support of crucial Family Office and wealth management activities. Clients who have substantial and complex holdings in multiple locations can now keep their catalog of non-financial assets stored securely for private, confidential access via computer, tablet or phone. When maintained with current information, this confidential digital catalog can keep owners and their trusted advisors better informed, enabling them to stay current with professional service objectives and to plan for, protect against, cope with and recover from life’s unexpected events.

Contact Archival Property Solutions at:

(866) 843-2100 or
e-mail us

When we receive your inquiry, we will determine the best way to match our services to your unique needs and circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you and will respond promptly and confidentially.

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Pros and Cons of Storing Your Valuables in Freeports

Unless you’ve built a secure, climate controlled storage room in your home to protect your valuables and collectibles, storing those items in a freeport may be an excellent option.

What is a freeport? Here’s a good description of one such facility from Q Wealth Limited’s website:

The Singapore FreePort
The Singapore FreePort
Singapore FreePort is a state-of-the-art secure storage facility that operates in its own duty-free zone adjacent to Singapore’s Changi Airport. The largest such facility in the world (270,000 square feet to be precise), it provides wealthy collectors with tax-free storage for their valuables.

“When you go to a bank and rent a safe, nobody knows what goes in. It’s the same thing here,” says Alain Vandenborre, president and co-founder of Singapore FreePort. “They only need to give a code that indicates the broad nature of the item—gold, wine or a painting. There’s no value, no ownership, no inventory list—all details are confidential. We offer more confidentiality than Geneva.”

Private rooms and vaults, barricaded by seven-ton doors, line the corridors. Unlike the free-port facilities in Switzerland, however, which are simply secure warehouses, the Singapore FreePort sought to combine security and style. A gigantic arching sculpture entitled “Cage sans Frontières” (Cage Without Borders), spans the entire lobby.


Freeports, of course, are not free. Far from it. The freeport in Geneva (one of six in Switzerland) charges around $12,000 a year to rent a small room for storage of treasures. For an intimate look at Geneva freeports, click here to read a terrific New York Times article titled Swiss Freeports Are Home for a Growing Treasury of Art.

Here is more information on freeports from Kathleen Tierney’s article on the ThinkAdvisor site:

The Singapore FreePort offers around-the-clock maximum security
The Singapore FreePort offers around-the-clock maximum security
For many high-net-worth individuals, free ports are their attics of choice. Over the past decade, these century-old former warehouses have become the repositories of great works of art, rare automobiles and coins, fine wines, and even gold bars and other precious metals. Especially large contemporary art pieces like massive Christo sculptures and even mini-submarines (among the newest toys of adventurous, super-wealthy people) are stored at these facilities.

The key motivating factors for warehousing these expensive items are security, confidentiality and tax advantages. Because the goods in a free port are technically in transit—the bonded warehouses were initially built to store goods in between shipments—they are accorded special tax-exempt treatment. This remains the case today, even if the valuables are stored for very long periods of time.


But beware—there are potential drawbacks to storing your valuable tangible assets in a freeport. Tierney notes on RiskConversation.com:

[T]here are a number of risks to consider with this type of storage facility. As pieces stored in free ports are technically considered “in transit,” their tax exempt status is contingent on their location around airports, seaports or other transit hubs. Thus, collectors need to be aware of the potential impact of low flying planes, coastal floods, and other weather-related catastrophes. One way to mitigate these risks is to store valuables in different free ports around the country.

Tierney also cautions:

LeConte “Conte” Moore, managing director at insurance broker DeWitt Stern in New York, said that while there are some advantages to storing valuables in free ports, collectors should think twice before putting all their eggs—Fabergé or otherwise—in one of these warehouses.

“Free ports often contain an enormous amount of highly valuable art in one location, which creates a large concentration of risk,” Conte said. “Because of this, insurance companies won’t always offer the lowest rates to insure these valuables.”

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Ah, but there’s another downside to storing your treasures in freeports that these articles do not address. Namely, if you choose to store your valuables in a remote location, out of sight and far from home, you will be deprived of the enjoyment of viewing these tangible reminders of your achievements and may even be compromising the ability of your trusted advisors to adequately support their client relationships.

businessman with a cup of coffeeThat is, unless you’ve contracted Archival Property Solutions to document and catalog these precious items. Wealthy individuals and families can now keep their catalog of tangible assets current, organized and stored securely for private, confidential access. Imagine the enjoyment and satisfaction of being able to view clear images (from multiple angles) of every item stored in a freeport hundreds or thousands of miles away.

No longer will UHNW owners risk furnishing incomplete data to accountants, wealth managers, attorneys and other trusted advisors. A detailed digital catalog, complete with photo images, digital copies of purchase receipts, current appraisals, and descriptions of condition, location, provenance and other details, also protects the owner’s investments by ensuring that they have the right type and amount of insurance coverage and are empowered to keep that coverage up to date as asset circumstances change.

What’s more, imagine this worst-case scenario: Soon after an owner takes the initiative to stash millions of dollars worth of tangible assets in an offshore freeport, he loses his life in an accident or falls victim to dementia or mental illness. Without access to the kind of documentation provided by Archival Property Solutions, the owner’s family might never be able to locate and recover those assets.

While storing your tangible assets in freeports around the world may offer significant benefits, doing so also drives home the urgency of four important words: Know what you own. When you have private, secure, around-the-clock access via any connected device to photos and data that help you stay on top of every aspect of your high-value assets, you have the knowledge you need to fully manage those assets, from completing gifting plans to arranging delivery of sold items to keeping trusted advisors fully informed.

Ultimately, engaging Archival Property Solutions to compile a digital catalog of valued property, documents and data is not only practical, it protects the most valuable asset of all: your peace of mind.



Click here to see a listing of all Archival Property Solutions blog posts.


About Archival Property Solutions, LLC

Archival Property Solutions documents and catalogs the tangible assets of high-net-worth owners for their personal viewing pleasure and support of crucial Family Office and wealth management activities. Clients who have substantial and complex holdings in multiple locations can now keep their catalog of non-financial assets stored securely for private, confidential access via computer, tablet or phone. When maintained with current information, this confidential digital catalog can keep owners and their trusted advisors better informed, enabling them to stay current with professional service objectives and to plan for, protect against, cope with and recover from life’s unexpected events.

Contact Archival Property Solutions at:

(866) 843-2100 or
e-mail us

When we receive your inquiry, we will determine the best way to match our services to your unique needs and circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you and will respond promptly and confidentially.

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What Has Your Casualty Insurance Agent Done For You Lately?

damaged-thinker-sculpture
In the Forbes.com article, What Has Your Casualty Insurance Agent Done For You Lately?, Ashlea Ebeling writes that there’s “more to rightsizing your insurance coverage than picking a deductible and paying the annual premium.” We heartily agree. Here’s how the article begins:

“When it comes to personal risk management, it’s so much more than just the purchase of an insurance policy,” says Brian Flood, author of Wealth Exposed, an insurance planning guide for high net worth individuals and their advisors (Wiley, 2013). “You really have to understand your clients’ lifestyle and ask them the right questions.”

Well said. Later on in the article, Ebeling writes:

Collectibles. Often collectibles are woefully underinsured—if they are insured at all. If you have art, wine, or other valuable collectibles, you need a collectibles rider to your homeowner’s policy or a separate collectibles policy. The best policies will pay market value up to 50 percent higher than the scheduled amount of coverage in case of loss. Having an inventory system to keep track of your collection, and its fluctuating value, is key.

That last sentence—Having an inventory system to keep track of your collection, and its fluctuating value, is key—should be read by high-net-worth owners as an urgent call to action. Inadequate documentation of valuable collections and other tangible assets could cost an owner hundreds of thousands of dollars or more should any possessions be lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed by fire, calamity, vandalism or theft.

Proactively managing these high-value treasures is best accomplished by creating a secure digital catalog that includes every category of tangible asset the owner would like insured. When maintained with current information (which may include photo images, digital copies of purchase receipts, current appraisals, and descriptions of condition, location, provenance, and other details), this digital catalog can help owners and their advisors determine if insurance coverage is suitable. A detailed catalog will also reveal whether any items of value have been inadvertently omitted from scheduled coverage. Claim time is the wrong time to discover that coverage is unsuitable.



Click here to see a listing of all Archival Property Solutions blog posts.


About Archival Property Solutions, LLC

Archival Property Solutions documents and catalogs the tangible assets of high-net-worth owners for their personal viewing pleasure and support of crucial Family Office and wealth management activities. Clients who have substantial and complex holdings in multiple locations can now keep their catalog of non-financial assets stored securely for private, confidential access via computer, tablet or phone. When maintained with current information, this confidential digital catalog can keep owners and their trusted advisors better informed, enabling them to stay current with professional service objectives and to plan for, protect against, cope with and recover from life’s unexpected events.

Contact Archival Property Solutions at:

(866) 843-2100 or
e-mail us

When we receive your inquiry, we will determine the best way to match our services to your unique needs and circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you and will respond promptly and confidentially.

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The Squeeze Is On for Family Offices

overwhelmed-executive-at-deskAn excellent article entitled Family Offices Face Growing Squeeze by Charles Paikert in Financial Planning magazine addresses the talent troubles, capital needs, profitability problems and competitive threats that loom among the biggest concerns for family offices in the coming year.

One paragraph in particular captured my attention:
Rising costs stem from the need to spend more on technology, operations, regulation—and, of course talent. That spending is eroding profit margins, as are downward pressure on fees and “service creep”—the perceived need to offer high-end clients additional services they aren’t billed for. “If your fees are 100 percent asset-based, it’s very difficult to limit service creep,” says Tom Livergood, founder and chief executive of the Wheaton, Ill.-based Family Wealth Alliance.

The way I see it, an excellent solution to service creep is offering clients an a la carte menu of specialty services by trusted providers such as Archival Property Solutions (APS). Outsourcing such services protects a Family Office from assuming the fixed staffing expenses related to fulfilling special requests. Outsourcing also ensures that a client’s needs can be satisfied with a quality result from a reliable, on-demand source in a timely and professional manner.

What’s more, an APS private, secure and confidential digital catalog that includes photo images of a client’s tangible assets along with associated digital copies of receipts, appraisals, provenance and other important details could be branded by the Family Office with their name and logo while APS remains quietly behind the scenes providing ongoing administrative support.

But don’t just take my word for it. Click here to read the impartial viewpoint of Russ Alan Prince, a founder and the Executive Director of Private Wealth magazine and author of the Serious Money column on Forbes.com. Prince also recommends that Family Offices strategically outsource certain functions.

Indeed, offering unique specialty services could be a true differentiator that could go a long way toward attracting additional clients while helping Family Offices cope with competitive threats to their existing client roster and meeting profitability challenges. Ultimately, outsourcing such specialty services may enhance revenues instead of taking a bite out of profits.



Click here to see a listing of all Archival Property Solutions blog posts.


About Archival Property Solutions, LLC

Archival Property Solutions documents and catalogs the tangible assets of high-net-worth owners for their personal viewing pleasure and support of crucial Family Office and wealth management activities. Clients who have substantial and complex holdings in multiple locations can now keep their catalog of non-financial assets stored securely for private, confidential access via computer, tablet or phone. When maintained with current information, this confidential digital catalog can keep owners and their trusted advisors better informed, enabling them to stay current with professional service objectives and to plan for, protect against, cope with and recover from life’s unexpected events.

Contact Archival Property Solutions at:

(866) 843-2100 or
e-mail us

When we receive your inquiry, we will determine the best way to match our services to your unique needs and circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you and will respond promptly and confidentially.

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Cracking Open the HNW Wallet

wallet-billfold-chain-padlockIn this article from WealthManagement.com in July 2013, Managing Editor Diana Britton, explores the need for wealth management firms to expand their service offerings.

NOTE FROM JOHN MOSBY: As founder and CEO of Archival Property Solutions (APS), I have embedded my italicized comments (highlighted in blue) into Diana Britton’s article to explain how APS can serve as a valuable resource for wealth managers and other trusted professionals serving the HNW market.


CRACKING OPEN THE HNW WALLET
A new study by Aite Group found that firms need to invest more in data management and analytics technology to win a larger share of HNW wallets.
by Diana Britton

When it comes to their money, high-net-worth individuals don’t want all their eggs in one basket; in fact, half of wealthy investors with more than $1 million in assets spread their wealth across four or more firms, according to research by Aite Group. To win a larger share of HNW clients’ wallets, firms need to invest more in data management and analytics technology to improve the client experience, Aite says.

In this article by Russ Alan Prince, a founder and the Executive Director of Private Wealth magazine and author of the Serious Money column on Forbes.com, he makes the case that Family Offices—and by logical extension, HNW professional service firms—would be better off outsourcing functions that are outside their core competencies. Outsourcing speciality services typically leads to more cost-effective use of resources, higher-quality results and more satisfied clients.

Some of the largest firms are making the right moves, focusing more on knowing the client holistically and taking them through the discovery process.

For these forward thinkers, APS can gather and catalog important facts and data that help advisors be more effective while we remain quietly behind the scenes with ongoing administrative support.

“This kind of stuff needs to be automated,” said Sophie Schmitt, senior analyst in wealth management at Aite. “It’s really hard to have a really in-depth conversation with clients and to keep up with all of their goals and needs on an ongoing basis without the right tools and systems and analytics to help that advisor along.”

Why try to develop specialty tools and systems when firms like Archival Property Solutions have already done so and are offering them at a fraction of the total cost of developing, maintaining and providing ongoing support for such tools and services?

Schmitt’s analysis, based on executive interviews across 15 of the top 30 wealth management firms and on a survey of 400 advisors, found that reducing costs and meeting regulatory requirements consumed a larger share of firms’ 2013 technology budgets. Meanwhile, spending on client- and advisor-experience technologies, including client portals, mobile deployments, financial planning, data aggregation and customer relationship management, accounted for only 33 percent of 2013 budgets.

Archival Property Solutions’ offering maintains a safe distance from a management firm’s budget. Outsourcing the documenting and cataloging of a client’s tangible assets and then securely storing the resulting digital catalog with client-controlled access places no demand on a firm’s already limited resources. It is a specialty service paid directly by the client.

“[Firms have] left the client experience up to the advisor so much that home offices really have no control in some ways,” Schmitt said. “They can train advisors all they want but at the end of the day, there’s not a lot of oversight on exactly what advisors are doing with their client.”

Engaging Archival Property Solutions enhances the quality of advisor-client interactions.

And for advisors to win more wallet share, they need to keep in touch with their clients. Aite found that the top-performing practices are those that contact their clients proactively; firms say that best practice is for advisors to have 18 touch points a year with their clients. Advisors need the tools to help them to keep on top of clients and help them with what to say at those touch points, Schmitt said.

An Archival Property Solutions digital catalog is the holy grail of advisor collaboration. When maintained with current information, this documentation can keep advisors updated and informed, enabling them to better support their client relationships through convenient and secure sharing of images and information via computer, tablet or phone.

Some firms are doing innovative things in the areas of client- and advisor-facing technology. Schmitt points to Merrill Lynch’s new risk assessment tool, to give advisors insights into how they handle investment risk. Merrill is working with behavioral economists to get advisors talking less about technicalities with their clients and more about their basic financial situation—more akin to a therapist than an investment manager.

Firms are also partnering with complementary firms where they don’t have expertise, she added. Morgan Stanley recently partnered with PinnacleCare to provide health advisory services to the firm’s high-net-worth clients at a discount.

Clearly, firms like Morgan Stanley recognize that partnering with providers of specialty services is not only cost-effective, it gives clients added incentive to stay fully invested in the relationship.

It’s one thing to actually have the technology in place, but it’s another thing to actually get advisors to use it. Peer-to-peer sharing is one way firms are trying to motivate advisors, so they can access the collective intelligence when advising their clients. Morgan Stanley is rolling out an “Insights” tool that will allow advisors to research securities that other FAs have purchased for similar types of clients.

But a lot of the technology that firms are using is still basic; they’re still talking about basic data aggregation and getting a 360-degree view of the client.

“Firms that can get beyond that and can actually get a consolidated data store, where they can query a 360-view of their client and move beyond to the more interesting stuff of, ‘How do you analyze that data? How do you deliver insights to advisors? How do you create a way for advisors to access that data to make useful decisions?’ I see those firms being in the lead.”

An Archival Property Solutions digital catalog is so user-friendly and intuitive that even the most tech-averse advisor can master it in no time for convenient and productive collaboration with clients.

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UPDATE: By engaging Archival Property Solutions, wealth management firms will also be addressing a core recommendation that Sophie Schmitt made in her November 2013 article on the Aite Group website, The Wealth Management Client Experience: Collaborative, Proactive Engagement Needed. She wrote:

Large players’ market share has been eroding since 2008, and assets have shifted toward firms that have been quicker to adapt to client needs for mixed self-directed and advisor-driven wealth management services, giving incumbent providers and new entrants the opportunity to build hybrid, multichannel solutions that satisfy more client needs under one roof.

Exactly. It’s also worth noting that the custom service offered by Archival Property Solutions can help wealth management firms better meet their clients’ needs at a time when both regulatory and cost-cutting initiatives are consuming a large portion of their technology budgets. This value-added service and technology can contribute significantly to a differentiated client experience, a benefit that is perfectly aligned with Sophie Schmitt’s call to action.



Click here to see a listing of all Archival Property Solutions blog posts.


About Archival Property Solutions, LLC

Archival Property Solutions documents and catalogs the tangible assets of high-net-worth owners for their personal viewing pleasure and support of crucial Family Office and wealth management activities. Clients who have substantial and complex holdings in multiple locations can now keep their catalog of non-financial assets stored securely for private, confidential access via computer, tablet or phone. When maintained with current information, this confidential digital catalog can keep owners and their trusted advisors better informed, enabling them to stay current with professional service objectives and to plan for, protect against, cope with and recover from life’s unexpected events.

Contact Archival Property Solutions at:

(866) 843-2100 or
e-mail us

When we receive your inquiry, we will determine the best way to match our services to your unique needs and circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you and will respond promptly and confidentially.

Share

Organized Assets = Enjoyment + Peace of Mind

Mera and Don Rubell at their museum in Miami. Behind them is “Liberation No. 1,” by Liu Wei, part of a new exhibition, “28 Chinese,” that shows the fruits of their art-buying trips to China. (photo by Cindy Karp of the New York Times)
Mera and Don Rubell at their museum in Miami. Behind them is “Liberation No. 1,” by Liu Wei, part of a new exhibition, “28 Chinese,” that shows the fruits of their art-buying trips to China. (photo by Cindy Karp of the New York Times)

While reading “Art Collectors Show Their Chinese Prizes” by Barbara Pollack in the New York Times, I couldn’t help thinking of four words over and over: Know what you own!

Entrepreneur and art collector Don Rubell owns a number of boutique hotels as well as more than 5,000 pieces of art with his wife, Mera. I applaud their enormous success in the fields of business and art, but can’t help but wonder how they keep on top of all their acquisitions. After all, with so many art pieces in their portfolio, there are undoubtedly always some items in storage, some on loan, and some in the process of being repaired or restored. My guess is that there are also some items that have been overlooked or forgotten due to the sheer volume of the collection.

Wouldn’t it be a useful advantage if a secure platform existed in which valuable assets like this large art collection could be cataloged, along with associated photo images and digital copies of receipts, appraisals, conditions, locations, provenance and other important details?

That platform does exist. After documenting and cataloging your prized assets, Archival Property Solutions will produce a private, custom display of the resulting images and data for secure viewing by owner-authorized users via computer, tablet or phone. Imagine the enjoyment and satisfaction of being able to view clear images (from multiple angles) of every item in a 5,000-piece collection, even those in storage.

Wealthy individuals and families can now keep their catalog of tangible assets current, organized and securely stored with client-controlled access. No longer will they risk furnishing incomplete data to accountants, wealth managers, Fine Art storage contractors, attorneys and other trusted advisors. A detailed catalog also protects the owner’s investments by ensuring that they have the right type and amount of insurance coverage and are empowered to keep that coverage up to date as asset circumstances change.

Ultimately, documenting and cataloging a treasured collection is a natural extension of the desire to acquire these objects in the first place.



Click here to see a listing of all Archival Property Solutions blog posts.


About Archival Property Solutions, LLC

Archival Property Solutions documents and catalogs the tangible assets of high-net-worth owners for their personal viewing pleasure and support of crucial Family Office and wealth management activities. Clients who have substantial and complex holdings in multiple locations can now keep their catalog of non-financial assets stored securely for private, confidential access via computer, tablet or phone. When maintained with current information, this confidential digital catalog can keep owners and their trusted advisors better informed, enabling them to stay current with professional service objectives and to plan for, protect against, cope with and recover from life’s unexpected events.

Contact Archival Property Solutions at:

(866) 843-2100 or
e-mail us

When we receive your inquiry, we will determine the best way to match our services to your unique needs and circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you and will respond promptly and confidentially.

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That Could Be Me!

silhouette-man-yellling-into-a-phoneIn October 2009, when Nicolas Cage sued his accountant, Sam Levin, for $20 million, I suspect that every CPA had the same chilling thought: That could be me!

Cage is what accounting and wealth management professionals call a “nightmare client.” As Scott Martin writes in this article for The Trust Advisor, America’s leading wealth management e-newsletter:

Few would argue that Nic Cage is an ideal client. He had the Hollywood millions to look like a marquee addition to any book, but there’s no evidence that he had the discipline to actually follow professional advice.

Levin swore repeatedly that he told the star to stop spending on everything from rare comic books to entire Caribbean islands or else he’d end up deep in debt when the roles stopped coming in.

By 2006, Cage was getting tired of working back-to-back B movies and the cash did indeed stop flowing quite so fast.

Coincidentally, that’s when Cage’s unpaid IRS bills spiraled out of control. Shortly after that, he slapped Levin with a $20 million lawsuit for not only failing to pay the taxes but pushing him on a “speculative and risky” real estate buying binge.

The fight dragged on for years but at the end of the day, Levin got the claims dismissed but had to relinquish $129,000 in unpaid tax prep fees. And because he did nothing wrong as far as the court was concerned, he gets to relaunch his career.

Allow me to offer three words that can protect accountants like Sam Levin from unfair accusations from unreasonable clients: Archival Property Solutions.

If Levin had required Cage to document and catalog all his non-financial assets and store the resulting digital catalog securely online, this dispute may have been prevented from the get-go. In such a case, the client could then be held accountable for not disclosing certain assets.

An advisor knows about cash in the bank. He or she may not know if the client bought a $2 million comic book or a $50 million Picasso. Money loses its identity when it gets converted to tangible goods. An Archival Property Solutions online catalog could have enabled remote collaboration between Cage and Levin, resulting in a more cooperative, transparent and effective process.

What’s more, Cage could have enjoyed viewing and scrolling through his entire portfolio of assets alone or with friends and family members in distant locations via computer, tablet or phone at any time. This portfolio could include photo images, digital copies of purchase receipts, current appraisals, and descriptions of condition, location, provenance, and other details of each and every item.

Instead, Cage was able to drag Levin’s name through the mud and temporarily derail his career. Thankfully, Levin has restored his reputation and recently joined one of the highest-profile accounting firms on the West Coast.

There is a clear moral to this tale: If you work with high-net-worth clients, protect yourself from unjust accusations by insisting that all assets that influence your accounting or wealth management decisions be documented and cataloged by Archival Property Solutions.



Click here to see a listing of all Archival Property Solutions blog posts.


About Archival Property Solutions, LLC

Archival Property Solutions documents and catalogs the tangible assets of high-net-worth owners for their personal viewing pleasure and support of crucial Family Office and wealth management activities. Clients who have substantial and complex holdings in multiple locations can now keep their catalog of non-financial assets stored securely for private, confidential access via computer, tablet or phone. When maintained with current information, this confidential digital catalog can keep owners and their trusted advisors better informed, enabling them to stay current with professional service objectives and to plan for, protect against, cope with and recover from life’s unexpected events.

Contact Archival Property Solutions at:

(866) 843-2100 or
e-mail us

When we receive your inquiry, we will determine the best way to match our services to your unique needs and circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you and will respond promptly and confidentially.

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The Heart and Mind of the Collector

Jan David Winitz, foudner and president of Claremont Rug Company
Jan David Winitz, founder of Claremont Rug Company

We were quite impressed with this well-written, well-reasoned article on the psychology of collecting by Jan David Winitz, an eminent art dealer who has specialized in highly collectible and investment-level 19th-century Oriental rugs for more than three decades as the founder and president of Claremont Rug Company.

In the second-to-the-last paragraph, Winitz speaks to the importance of safeguarding an owner’s investment in such costly possessions through written appraisals, images and videos. We couldn’t agree more. Helping individuals and families recover form losses of valuable assets is why Archival Property Solutions was founded. Of course, every valued asset—from fine art and valuable collections to jewelry and antiques to memorabilia and luxury items like airplanes and boats should be documented and cataloged to support the owner’s recovery in the event of fire, natural disaster or burglary.

The resulting digital catalog can help clients and their advisors ensure that the right type and amount of insurance is in force. Losing such treasured possessions can be stressful enough without the added shock of discovering that coverage is unsuitable.

Winitz’s article appeared in the AXA Highlights & Happenings Newsletter of December 12, 2013. It is reprinted here in its entirety.

THE HEART AND MIND OF THE COLLECTOR

We humans have an innate impulse to surround ourselves with things that nourish our emotions, stimulate our imagination, add significance to our rituals, remind us of people or eras from the past, lend order to our worldview or simply add beauty to our everyday lives.

It’s in our nature to collect things. Books from across the known world were assembled and lovingly housed in libraries when the Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt, if not before. Children at the seashore collect shells without prompting. Like many boys smitten with America’s national sport, I accumulated shoeboxes overflowing with baseball cards. My mother was so respectful of this childhood passion that she kept those boxes intact, in storage for decades.

Throughout 33-plus years as president of a company dealing in art-level antique Oriental carpets, I’ve observed that my clients often become collectors unintentionally. They may begin with a practical purchase, with one piece acquired to fill a specific place in the home. Other times, collections begin emotionally: a particular piece resonates so strongly, so viscerally, that a client feels the need to have it. Finding a place to put it is a secondary consideration.

An exquisitely refined 19th century Persian Ferahan Sarouk antique carpet is showcased in this long-time collector's living room. Image courtesy of Claremont Rug Company.
An exquisitely refined 19th century Persian Ferahan Sarouk antique carpet is showcased in this long-time collector’s living room.
Image courtesy of Claremont Rug Company.

The appeal of antique Oriental rugs, weavings made more than a century ago and more than half a world away, is complex. But put simply, they define the ambiance of one’s environment. And they can do so in many different ways.

Some dedicated collectors bring an intellectual and historical perspective to their connoisseurship, honing an ability to recognize the rarest examples or “best-of-the-best.” Others focus on the juxtaposition of “opposites,” creating engaging interior aesthetics—a tribal rug displayed within a streamlined, minimalist, contemporary décor, or a finely woven floral piece used to anchor Impressionist or postmodern sculptures and paintings.

Some fill every corner of their homes with expansive collections. Just as they might put display cases of Oceanic art or Chinese pottery in bathrooms and even kitchens (anywhere in her home that lacks art, one client observes, seems “emotionally devoid”), they take a creative approach to their antique rugs, placing them not only on their floors, but hanging them as wall art and draping them over banisters and furniture.

Many connoisseurs display their rugs as wall art, as well as on the floor. The pair of top-notch 19th century tribal rugs from the Caucasus Mountains on display in this collector's cutting-edge island home are high-collectible antique carpets that that glow in this voluminous, naturally lit space. Image courtesy of Claremont Rug Company.
Many connoisseurs display their rugs as wall art, as well as on the floor. The pair of top-notch 19th century tribal rugs from the Caucasus Mountains on display in this collector’s cutting-edge island home are high-collectible antique carpets that that glow in this voluminous, naturally lit space.
Image courtesy of Claremont Rug Company.

Still others take a curatorial approach, keeping carefully cataloged troves of carpets in climate-controlled storage. Individual treasures are removed and displayed, perhaps seasonally. The pleasure of this rotating, personal exhibition is not unlike visiting with an old friend who has been absent for a long while. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and one appreciates how the friendship has grown in the interim.

People who love beautiful objects often morph into collectors without quite knowing it, as they acquire more items than they can display at one time. When this happens, a few practical considerations are in order. A security system appropriate to the collection should be considered. Objects should be stored with consideration to their particular requirements for preservation. A museum storage facility is one feasible option. Written appraisals from an acknowledged expert in the field should be submitted to one’s insurance carrier and put in safekeeping. Images or videos of each item in the collection are a useful safeguard in case of damage or loss.

So, while most collections begin either practically or emotionally, they almost always blossom in an array of fashions as boundless as the imaginations of the collectors who gather them. As one gentleman I’ve worked with for a quarter-century said, “In the world I create in my homes, whereever my eyes rest, I wish to see beauty.”



Click here to see a listing of all Archival Property Solutions blog posts.


About Archival Property Solutions, LLC

Archival Property Solutions documents and catalogs the tangible assets of high-net-worth owners for their personal viewing pleasure and support of crucial Family Office and wealth management activities. Clients who have substantial and complex holdings in multiple locations can now keep their catalog of non-financial assets stored securely for private, confidential access via computer, tablet or phone. When maintained with current information, this confidential digital catalog can keep owners and their trusted advisors better informed, enabling them to stay current with professional service objectives and to plan for, protect against, cope with and recover from life’s unexpected events.

Contact Archival Property Solutions at:

(866) 843-2100 or
e-mail us

When we receive your inquiry, we will determine the best way to match our services to your unique needs and circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you and will respond promptly and confidentially.

Share