Working with dozens of entrepreneurial families has allowed Mosaic to refine a simple, transparent, and comprehensive process to address their ever-changing needs. Each phase of the relationship, from Due Diligence to the broad range of services we call Strategic Advice, is treated as us “applying for a new job”. Each step requires the execution of a new agreement that clearly spells out our clients’ expectations as well as our fees, the scope of work to be performed, and our ultimate responsibilities. There is no commitment, implied or otherwise, to proceed from one step to another and clients may cancel an engagement upon a day’s notice. This straight-forward approach reflects our confidence to be able to consistently demonstrate unmistakable value to the families we serve.
We view our engagements as long-term partnerships and want the families we represent to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our firm was engineered to empower them and put their best interest first. Our goal was to build a firm that eliminated conflicts and ensured our own interests were completely aligned with those we represent. We believe fixed fee engagements, transparent pricing, no fee sharing with other advisors, and the immediate right to cancel, serve as strong evidence of this commitment.
As opposed to the days of a folded map in your glove compartment, the advent of GPS brought a modern technology that can easily guide you anywhere on the planet. Only two seemingly straightforward inputs are required to make it work – “WHERE AM I NOW” and “WHERE DO I WANT TO GO”. Without these critical data points, it is difficult for anyone to define the steps necessary to correct course and plot a reliable path forward.
“WHERE AM I NOW?” – Mosaic developed our Due Diligence process specifically to answer this one deceptively simple question. Though many families can articulate their goals and the major pitfalls they hope to avoid, virtually none are aware of exactly how their current plan impacts their family and business. As a result, these families are left making poorly informed decisions that impact everything they own and everyone they love.
During Due Diligence, we work with our clients, their management team, and their advisors to collect every important tax, legal, and financial document that touches their personal and business life. We then analyze this mountain of data and distill it into an actionable workbook consisting of pictures, graphs, charts, and tables that clearly illustrates their current situation as well as what will transpire upon a “life-changing event”. We identify areas of potential deficiency in their existing plan so they can prioritize the items they feel are most important to address. The result is a comprehensive understanding of how each individual aspect of their financial, business, and family life interacts with the other. Armed with this information, our clients are now equipped to successfully navigate the intersection of legal, tax, business, finance, investing, and philanthropy, while aligning those disciplines with ever changing family dynamics.
The families we represent expect us to significantly alleviate the personal burden associated with being successful. They empower us to lead their professional advisory team while holding us responsible to create an environment of effective communication and proactive collaboration. They expect us to make complicated information easy for them to understand and critical tasks simple to delegate. Finally, they want us to help them better anticipate problems before they arise and reduce the impact of issues that cannot be avoided.
The hierarchy is simple. The Strategic Advisor holds the professional team responsible for successfully completing projects on time and on budget, and in turn, the client holds the Strategic Advisor accountable to Design, Implement, and Maintain their plan. In short, we manage the ever-changing nexus of tax, legal, business, finance, risk, and family dynamics, on behalf of the clients we serve.
Families interested in managing their personal success with the same rigor, focus, and discipline they demand for their operating companies, often choose to engage Mosaic as their Strategic Advisor. The families we represent retain the role of “Family CEO” while outsourcing other critical functions such as:
With Due Diligence complete, families are armed with a newfound appreciation for the nuances of their current situation and now have the unique ability to prioritize the issues they believe will have the greatest impact on their family and business. We then typically kick-off a new Family Office engagement with Design & Implementation, where we share the pros and cons of potential strategies as well as give clear examples of what other families in similar situations have done. The ability to simultaneously “try-on” various techniques while learning from the real-life struggles and accomplishments of their contemporaries, is an extraordinarily valuable combination for our clients.
The Design phase begins with behind-the-scenes analysis of potential strategies that are stress-tested against a wide variety of criteria ranging from “hard issues” such as tax planning, investment performance, and asset protection to more abstract objectives like administrative ease, business flexibility, and maintaining family harmony. Once we agree upon an overall direction, the critically important process of Implementation begins. Our job is to work shoulder to shoulder with the whole team of professional advisors to not only verify the viability of Design recommendations, but to ensure the effective implementation of the most impactful strategies.
Mosaic’s Design & Implementation process is specifically devised to produce comprehensive, not piecemeal results. Through our process of initially gathering extensive information and direction from our clients, we are uniquely positioned to help Design & Implement a plan that serves a solid foundation capable of accomplishing goals for multiple generations, yet flexible enough to withstand the inevitable evolution that will occur over time.
An essential component of a Family Office engagement is what we broadly term as Maintenance, which is by far the most overlooked and least emphasized aspect of the advice business. We believe that for a family’s plan to be successful, it must be treated like a business. The same continued dedication that applies to compliance within an operating company is critical to the long-term success of any comprehensive plan.
Once the planning direction is set and the foundation is laid during the Design & Implementation phase, it is critical to refresh, revisit, and stress-test on a regular basis. Mosaic has developed a unique platform to facilitate this essential upkeep. Responsibilities include annual updates of assumptions, cashflow management, and administrative items such as bookkeeping and entity minutes. It also involves family education for younger generations to prepare them for the opportunity and responsibility of significant success.
While Maintaining a comprehensive tax, legal, business, and financial plan is far from “sexy”, it is the missing ingredient that causes even the best laid plans to erode over time. The value of having a dedicated team that fully understands every aspect of your financial life cannot be overstated.
We help families make more informed decisions, simplify their complicated lives, and communicate their most important values.
If our philosophy resonates with you, we welcome the opportunity to discuss how our process may benefit you & your family.