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Practice Management Wisdom: Thane Stenner Discusses the Keys to a Successful Practice as an Ultra-High-Net-Worth Wealth Advisor

Thane Stenner on Excelling in Wealth Advisory

By: Ava Morgan

Ultra-high-net-worth advising refers to the specialized financial management services tailored for individuals whose net worth significantly exceeds the standard definitions of affluence, typically involving assets in the tens of millions. As the financial landscapes evolve, so do the challenges and opportunities in managing the complex wealth portfolios of ultra-high-net-worth clients. These clients demand a sophisticated understanding of financial markets as well as a nuanced appreciation of the personal and regulatory intricacies that impact substantial fortunes. 

The dynamic nature of global economies, coupled with shifting regulatory environments and varied investment horizons, necessitates a highly customized approach in wealth management. For wealth advisors, mastering the art of personalized service is more than a preference—it’s a critical requirement. Senior Portfolio Manager & Senior Wealth Advisor Thane Stenner of Stenner Wealth Partners+ of CG Wealth Management Canada explores the key tenets to building a successful ultra-high-net-worth wealth advisory practice. 

Simplifying Complexity: Communicating to Connect with Clients

In ultra-high-net-worth wealth management, the overuse of complex industry jargon can be a significant barrier to effective communication. Clear, straightforward language facilitates better understanding while fostering trust and confidence among clients. 

“The power of storytelling and simplicity should not be underestimated, as these methods help demystify financial concepts and personalize the client’s experience,” says Thane Stenner. 

By articulating investment strategies through compelling narratives, advisors can highlight the relevance of each decision in the client’s unique financial journey. To maintain clarity while presenting investment opportunities, advisors should focus on balanced communication that outlines both the potential rewards and inherent risks. 

This approach ensures that clients are fully informed and can make decisions that align with their comfort levels and financial goals. Strategically, employing visual aids and comparative analyses can also help crystallize complex information, making it more accessible and actionable for ultra-high-net-worth clients.

Building and Managing Client Relationships

In the exclusive sphere of ultra-high-net-worth wealth management, the cornerstone of success is the ability to forge and maintain enduring client relationships built on mutual respect and trust. Treating clients with dignity and respect is non-negotiable, as these relationships often span decades and can influence the advisor’s reputation within the tight-knit financial community.

Notes Stenner, “To maintain strong networks and avoid burning bridges, advisors should cultivate professionalism and consistency in all interactions, emphasizing discretion and reliability. Regular communication and proactive engagement are key strategies that demonstrate commitment to client well-being and can solidify trust over time.”

Personalized service is equally critical in addressing the unique needs of UHNW clients. Each client’s financial situation, goals, and personal preferences require bespoke solutions. Understanding these communication dynamics allows advisors to tailor their offerings, ensuring that advice and strategies are effective and align perfectly with each client’s life objectives and legacy aspirations.

Specialization as a Key to Success as a Wealth Advisor

Developing a niche or specialization is essential for standing out and delivering exceptional value in wealth advisory. Specialization allows advisors to deepen their skills in specific areas, such as estate planning, international investments, or philanthropic advising, making them indispensable to clients with those specific needs.

Focusing on fewer, deeper client relationships rather than a broad, shallow client base empowers advisors to provide highly personalized and detailed attention. This approach enhances client satisfaction and retention while fostering stronger, more meaningful connections that can lead to lifelong client engagements and referrals.

Having a team that specializes in various facets of UHNW wealth management can further enhance service delivery. Each team member’s professional handling of different aspects of wealth ensures comprehensive coverage of all client needs. Specialized teamwork translates into a cohesive strategy that aligns with client goals, driving both satisfaction and successful outcomes.

Thane Stenner on Excelling in Wealth Advisory


Building a High-Performance Team

Building a high-performance team is fundamental in ultra-high-net-worth wealth management, where the complexity of client needs demands a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge. Assembling a team that complements the advisor’s skills enhances service delivery and ensures that all client demands are met with precision and professionalism.

Effective recruitment strategies should focus on identifying candidates who possess the necessary technical skills and align with the firm’s values and commitment to client service. Rigorous training programs are essential to equip these professionals with the specific knowledge and tools they need to manage UHNW portfolios effectively. 

“The integration of new team members should be managed carefully to maintain continuity and trust with clients,” says Stenner.

Team-based wealth management allows for collaborative decision-making, which can lead to more comprehensive and well-rounded financial solutions. By leveraging diverse talents within the team, advisors can address complex issues more effectively and ensure that strategic decisions are robust and client-focused.

Raising the Bar on Practice Management and Performance

Looking to the future of ultra-high-net-worth wealth management, the field will continue to evolve, driven by technological advancements, changing regulatory landscapes, and shifting client expectations. The next generation of ultra-high-net-worth clients will likely demand even more sophisticated, tech-savvy services that offer seamless integration with their digital lives. Advisors who anticipate and adapt to these changes will not only sustain but potentially expand their practices.

Innovation in client service models will be crucial. Advisors might explore the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide more precise, data-driven insights while still emphasizing the human element that is so critical in building trust and understanding. The potential for virtual reality to offer immersive financial planning experiences could also transform client interactions, making complex strategies more accessible and engaging.

As global challenges like climate change and social inequality intensify, ultra-high-net-worth individuals may look to their advisors for guidance on impact investing and philanthropy. Advisors will need to be prepared to offer deep wisdom and insight in these areas, aligning financial success with broader, value-driven goals.

Thane Stenner, renowned for his expertise in wealth management, has an impressive academic background that includes graduating with honors from Arizona State University and participating in Harvard Business School’s Executive Program. Licensed across the USA and Canada, he holds certifications from FINRA and CIRO. 

His professional journey has spanned several high-ranking positions at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, including Managing Director and International Client Advisor, where he spearheaded portfolio management for ultra-high net worth clients. Stenner’s insights have been featured in multiple prestigious outlets like the Globe & Mail, Canadian Family Offices, and BNN Bloomberg.

Published by: Holy Minoza

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