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It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
– Oscar Wilde
A conversation with Stuart Lucas: wealth manager, educator, and family scion
Stuart Lucas has double-barreled credentials as a wealth manager.
He’s a Harvard MBA who worked for years with top-shelf financial firms including Wellington Management Company and Banc One (now JP Morgan Chase), where he led their Ultra HNW unit.
And, he is himself an heir to family money by way of his great-grandfather, E. A. Stuart, who founded the Carnation Company. In 1985, the closely-held business was sold to Nestle, and the proceeds were distributed among Mr. Stuart’s descendants.
In 2004, Mr. Lucas merged his professional and personal worlds by founding Wealth Strategist Partners, which continues today as the investment advisor to his and selected other family offices.
He has gone on to design and lead a Private Wealth Management executive education program, designed specifically for wealthy families at the University of Chicago Booth School, now in its 12th year. And, as an adjunct professor, he has taught a Wealth and Family Enterprise Management course at the MBA level.
All this experience has also been distilled into his widely-read book, Wealth: Grow It and Protect It, for general readers; and into academic-quality papers for The Journal of Wealth Management.
We’re delighted that he made some time to talk to us.
Keeping it in the family
Skorina: Stuart, you’ve focused on high-net-worth families and their money for decades as a practitioner; an academic; and even personally, as a member of an extended, affluent family. You probably know as much about this stuff as anyone in the business.
Where do you begin with a new client who has to deal with all of this for the first time?
Lucas: Charles, it’s true I’ve been doing this for quite a while, but no one knows everything about it. I learn something new every day.
A family office with significant wealth has many moving parts. There’s money-management per se, which you focus on; and it’s crucial.
But, there are also the structural, legal, and tax issues. And there are opaque but vital intra-familial and cultural issues that have to be dealt with. They’re all important, and all inter-related.
The laws and tax rates keep changing, so do markets, and so do the families themselves. We try to design and execute an integrated strategy that balances all these elements.
Skorina: So, how do you start the conversation with a new client?Read More »
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