The annual Both Sides Now study surveyed 75 families with at least $30 million in assets who are IPI members. The research showed that 32% of families with up to $50 million in assets felt comfortable giving their advisors complete discretion to make changes to their portfolios.
For families with more than $200 million in assets, only 20% give their managers complete control. Forty-four percent allow limited discretion, and 36% must approve all decisions.
According to IPI's data, 61% of these UHNW investors have an in-house chief investment officer. These investors are more likely to hand over the reins. Thirty-six percent said they give up decision-making control compared to 10% among families who outsource their investment decisions to a manager. Of the remaining 90% who outsource the CIO function but don't cede control, 35% have a non-discretionary manager.
Since the financial crisis, investors have realized they can't give up responsibility for overseeing their wealth, says Mindy Rosenthal, IPI executive director. "We are seeing a clear trend toward investors taking an active role in partnership with the advisor," Rosenthal said in a statement. At the same time, only 28% of UHNW investors reported feeling confident in their current investment strategy.
But ultra-affluent investors aren't the only ones holding back from their advisors. Research from Cerulli associates showed that while only 17% of advisors said they believe their clients also hold a direct account, 74% actually do. That finding is consistent across wirehouses, banks and independent advisory firms.