Critical Wealth Leadership Role Transitions

In the wealth management field, there’s considerable focus on preparing the next generation for a transition of wealth, but spouses are likely to experience a transition first.

Discussion of the “great wealth transfer” estimates that $30 trillion will be inherited over the next 30 years, according to an estimate by Accenture. Of the top 1 percent of wealthy households, 95 percent are from the baby boomer generation-—76 percent made their own wealth, 87 percent of them are male, according to the Investment Management Consultants Association. Based on a 2014 U.S. Trust survey, 71 percent of those baby boomers are in their first marriage, and 76 percent of that group has children who will become next-generation stewards.

Wealthy female boomers who are 65 today can expect to live at least another 20 years, based on actuarial studies. In fact, it’s estimated that one out of three of them will celebrate their 95th birthday.

Given that husbands generally make the family wealth decisions, yet die before their wives, how do their spouses prepare to assume that role?

Many businesses dedicate significant time and resources toward succession planning. Similarly, large family wealth enterprises will benefit from planning for a smooth transition to subsequent decision makers.

The typical division of labor between married couples results in the spouses of wealth creators dedicating energies elsewhere for the family, such as raising children and managing the household. That can limit their involvement in the management of family wealth.

But the right process can support a smoother transition for a spouse assuming the key decision-making role. That process starts with the mapping, planning and management of the family wealth enterprise.

  • Mapping is critical to understanding every component of the family wealth enterprise, which will require leadership, governance and decision-making activities. It entails developing a comprehensive inventory of the family’s assets and liabilities, the ownership structures and associated decision makers, and the intended wealth-transfer plan. Analyzing the financial needs of the spouse and family and assessing cash sources and uses are important elements of the mapping process.
  • Planning happens after a comprehensive understanding of the components of the family wealth enterprise. This entails prioritizing what’s important: Will the wealth cover spending needs and enable a continued lifestyle? Are the proper providers in place to support the ongoing management of the enterprise? Are their fees and expenses appropriate? Do I have total control over decisions, or do others (such as trustees) participate?
  • Management determines how oversight and other ongoing decisions will occur. For spouses unaccustomed to making such decisions, this can be daunting without a comprehensive understanding of the mapping and planning components of this process. Experience shows that confident and prepared spouses are those who know what the family owns, what its financial needs are and how they’re sourced, and the plans for future transition of family wealth.

The transition from spouse to CEO of the family wealth enterprise should not be overlooked.

It should be noted that there are marriages in which partners share financial decision-making equally, as well as spouses who are financially successful in their own right, and spouses who are fully prepared to assume the responsibility of managing the family’s wealth.

Through a well-planned transition, spousal successors can collaborate with the next generation and thrive in their roles as caretakers of the family wealth and of the family itself. This component of succession planning is as critical for everyone-—today and tomorrow.

Julie Neitzel is a partner and adviser with WE Family Offices in Miami and a board member of the Miami Finance Forum. Contact her at Julie.Neitzel@wefamilyoffices.com or 305.825.2225.

You May Also Like
An Unknown Side of Cancun: Enjoy a Luxurious Stay at the JW Marriott Resort and Spa and Bring Your Taste for Adventure

Treat yourself to luxury, relaxation and unforgettable experiences at this fantastic resort.

Read More
Steiger Facial Plastic Surgery Offers Pamper Mom Facial Special

The offering is available through May 31.

Read More
NAIOP South Florida Appoints Officers, Executive Board and Board of Directors for 2022

NAIOP South Florida, a Commercial Real Estate Development Association offering advocacy, education and business opportunities to its members, has announced the following officers for the 2022 Board of Directors: President:

Read More
Pride Week Festival Begins With Tribute to Pulse Nightclub Survivor

Miami Beach Pride’s week-long festivities will commence with a special tribute to the LGBTQ+ community honoring the victims of the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. A ceremonial “flip

Read More
Other Posts
Surfside luxury condo sees notable sales

Arte at Surfside is making waves. There’s, of course, the news that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are renting at the 16-resident luxury condominium. And there’s the December penthouse sale

Read More
Up in the Air: A Discussion

In a dynamic region where residents are typically on the move, everyone is wondering about the health of the airline industry and the safety of airports and airplanes. Everyone is

Read More
South Florida Yachting Legend Passes

Robert “Bob” Roscioli, an icon in the South Florida marine industry, has passed away. Many recognize the name Roscioli from the widely-successful and world-renowned Roscioli Yachting Center, a full service

Read More
Four key steps

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text] What a crazy time we are all experiencing. Right now, getting back to basics is most important. It is not and

Read More

Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.