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Stonehage Fleming Elaborates On Glenmede Pact

Tom Burroughes

25 January 2019

When US multi-family office strategy is to expand westwards and eastwards,” he said. 

While the organisation has a small operation in Philadelphia, it is not allowed to provide investment services from the US for regulatory reasons; it also found that there was a need to give guidance about structures such as Delaware-based trusts. The alliance with Glenmede helps to achieve that sort of market gap, McMullen continued.

Glenmede, for its part, was interested in serving US based international families - part of a trend of HNW families having more of an international presence and market exposure, requiring a wider set of solutions, he said.

Families’ complex requirements, such as managing wealth transfer and succession – some of these involving cross-border issues – make such a partnership important, he said. 

Stonehage Fleming is itself the product of a merger, created from the marriage of the Stonehage and Fleming Family & Partners businesses in 2015. The firm has announced such pacts before. For example, in October last year, the MFO formed a strategic partnership with Lombard International Assurance, a global wealth structuring solutions provider for high net worth individuals. That collaboration allows Stonehage Fleming to offer its clients access to Lombard International Assurance’s unit-linked life assurance solutions. Glenmede, for its part, has recently ramped up its impact investing credentials.

A recent development keeping Stonehage Fleming in the headlines was its appointment this month of Glenn Murphy to a newly-created position as chief operating officer within the firm’s investment management division.

Some MFOs seek to build up internationally in other ways. A group of firms, such as UK-based Sandaire and US-based Pitcairn, have formed the Wigmore Association, a group of chief investment officers and chief executives to regularly exchange ideas.

At present, most US single family offices tend to be US-centric and don’t have a lot of international capability or focus – the international offerings that the partnership gives stand in contrast.

In McMullen’s case, he has seen how expat American citizens have found difficulties getting access to financial services, a situation caused partly by the extra-territorial reach of US tax laws and of how expats are seen as a compliance burden. By formalising the relationship with Glenmede, Stonehage Fleming, the firm - with a rich international history - can lend a hand to such expats, he said.

Stonehage Fleming has vast experience in Asia-Pacific and is well-known in that fast-growing region. They also have clients in Africa, a region that is likely to prove more important in future, he continued.

“In Asia, there’s a huge opportunity for multi-family offices to do well,” he added.