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Prospera President and COO Tarah Williams
Prospera President and COO Tarah Williams

Prospera Unveils Family Office Services

Prospera Generational Wealth leverages internal and outsourced talent to offer the firm's wealthiest families a broader range of services.

Dallas-based Prospera Financial Services has debuted a new suite of family office services featuring “a multi-layered support team” of experts to help advisors create personalized wealth strategies for their wealthiest clients.

A hybrid broker/dealer and registered investment advisory firm supporting 175 independent advisors overseeing close to $18 billion in assets, Prospera created the new offering—dubbed Prospera Generational Wealth—in response to a growing number who are seeking to provide a more comprehensive range of services for ultra-affluent clients.

With an educational component and supported by an advanced planning council composed of Prospera advisors, the program is leveraging external partnerships to provide accounting, banking, business, estate planning, philanthropic, family governance and continuity services, among others. These can be accessed a la carte or as a package, according to President and COO Tarah Williams.

“I think advisors will offer it as a whole, but maybe they just need one piece of it and that's OK too,” she said. “And the beauty of the system is that they can plug in any CPA they like to work with, and he or she can continue to be the quarterback while tapping into some of these third-party resources as needed.”

Williams ultimately envisions the service as providing a bridge to next-generation family members.

“Looking at ways that we can start people right out of college with a fee-based account to start learning how that works, to understanding insurance and really bringing up that next generation to understand, from the beginning, what the family situation is,” she explained. “How does business ownership work? What does it mean for your taxes?”

Will Trout, director of securities and investments at Datos Insights (formerly Aite-Novarica), suggested during a recent presentation on 2024 wealth management trends that expanding services could provide an effective hedge against asset losses as client rosters age.

“Firms continue to invest in extended planning capabilities, focusing for example on much broader client needs such as estate planning rather than standard cashflow projections,” he said. “Mature clients get older and younger clients engage with financial advisors. As with holistic planning, providing access to a broad range of products and services is important and it offers opportunities to engage both the current client base and next-generation clients.”

Prospera plans to introduce a next-gen advisory council early this year.

“Just to get advisors together who are going to see us through this next 50 years,” said Williams. “Making sure they have a forum where we’re listening to what their needs are, what their clients needs are and what they’re seeing.”

Over the next five years, she said Prospera has a goal of reaching $38 billion in assets across 250 or fewer advisors.

“As long as we’re maintaining our character, competency and values, then we will continue to pursue opportunities,” Williams said. “We feel like at 250 advisors, we have the scale but we still know who everyone is. And it’s really important to us to know their names, to know who their families are, what makes them tick. ... We don’t want to lose that.”

Calling the expansion of services “a good strategic move,” Chris Mays, managing partner of the family offices division at Armanino, said the goal of a family office should be saving clients time instead of money.

“These super wealthy clients aren’t running out of money,” he said. “They want to trade their money for time. If you can offer a lot of these ancillary services that help with the burden of having and being a thoughtful steward of wealth or make it really easy and efficient for them to do it in a thoughtful manner, you’ve won.”

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