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FAs use Psychologists and Historians to Improve Service

July 28, 2016

In a world where automated financial advice is putting the squeeze on fee-based traditional wealth management, one firm believes in adding value by helping clients deal with the emotional issues that arise around substantial wealth, American Banker writes.

Ascent Private Capital Management, a unit of U.S. Bancorp established in 2011, serves clients with at least $75 million in net assets and employs both a clinical psychologist and a historian to assist the firm’s clients, the publication writes.

“Wealth is about more than money,” Michael Cole, president of Ascent, tells American Banker.

Kristen Armstrong, the firm’s strategic wealth coach, came to the firm after more than a decade as a clinical psychologist and executive coach, the publication writes.

Her specialty is “difficult conversations” and her role is akin to that of a family counselor, she tells American Banker.

Armstrong helps families deal with issues they aren’t talking about but that threaten to tear them apart, such as the sale of a business that was held in one family for four generations, according to the publication.

Ascent, which now manages $10 billion, also hired a Ph.D. historian in 2013, American Banker writes.

Karen McNeill came to the firm from academia having researched and written biographies of families of business leaders, according to the publication. That training allows her to help clients find their voice and uncover family histories that can build a sense of trust and belonging among them, American Banker writes.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the American Banker article cited in this story, click here.