As I get older, I find myself in situations where I feel like those commercials from Progressive Insurance referencing people “turning into their parents.” I know how to take a “selfie,” but I actually do still have some car floor mats from a car I do not own anymore. Yikes. I also find myself trusting brands that they did. They believed in doing business with companies and brands committed to quality, value, and the customer. So, when I bought my first lawnmower, I went to Sears and bought a Toro push mower.

That belief is what we want from our clients and their children. It guides us. We were founded and structured to serve our clients and their families in perpetuity. We do this by taking a long-term holistic approach to serving our clients that includes their entire family. Our approach starts with a comprehensive wealth management plan that drills down deep on family goals. We want to know the essence of what makes each family their unique selves. How did they get to where they are today? What’s most important to them? What are their family values? What do they want for the generations that follow? If we can deeply understand who they are, we can then construct the most meaningful customized plan to help them accomplish their goals. This is all done before our clients hire us.

Portfolio management is just one part of our clients’ wealth management plan and how we serve them. The plan also details our expert thoughts and recommendations on generational goals related to philanthropy, estate planning, education planning, business succession planning, insurance, and retirement planning when present. All of this is coordinated with the clients’ other advisors (e.g. estate planning, tax, and insurance) to ensure coordinated comprehensive service from all their advisors.

When it comes to making sure family members are fully informed, our clients have found Greenleaf Trust’s facilitation of family meetings very valuable over the years. The focus of the meeting is directed by the client and can include anything they feel important to discuss with their family. Often, they include discussions on specific topics such as wealth transitions, next generation financial literacy, philanthropic planning, estate tax management, estate settlement actions, etc. Or they can include a simple review of their dynamic wealth management plan. We recognize that family dynamics and needs are not static and change as they grow and change.

And, if we are ultimately involved in the settlement of a client’s estate, our intimate knowledge of the whole family helps to ensure timely and efficient transitions that are coordinated with the grantor’s desires.

To serve from generation to generation, it is essential that we remain independent. Our ownership structure secures our ability to serve clients and their generations that follow. Through intentional business succession planning, our founders and owners have made sure Greenleaf Trust cannot be bought or sold.

Our desire is to serve clients and their next generation. And, when appropriate, this includes serving multiple generations within the same family concurrently. This is because we believe that family is an investment with the highest returns.