December 18 2019 – As published in SVPN Magazine
By Erik Boe and Kipp Nelson
Robertson Stephens is seeking to redefine wealth management for high net worth clients. SVPN asked Kipp Nelson (of Long Arc Capital) and Erik Boe, (Principal) what lies ahead for the Firm, with a substantial operation in Sun Valley.
1.SVPN: How did you both meet?
Erik: We originally met when Kipp hosted the 48 Straight ski tour, however, we became reacquainted when Kipp from Long Arc Capital reached out to me three years ago to discuss the wealth management industry and plans for Robertson Stephens in that space. That conversation morphed into a realization that Kipp and his colleagues truly understood the gaps and opportunities in the market. Today, being able to work with them and the entire Robertson Stephens’ management team, our clients experience first-hand what my team and I have been looking to bring to our practice for quite some time.
Kipp: What I remember best was going duck hunting with Erik some years ago. (One of those amazing Idaho days where the skies were black with birds so even I couldn’t miss!) But the second time we spent a lot of time together was via a reintroduction from a friend who knew that our private equity firm, Long Arc Capital, was studying the wealth management business. I wanted to meet him for research purposes. When Erik asked what business we wanted to create, and after about a half hour into the discussion – he said, “You know, that might be a business that I’d like to help you build.” And here we are.
2. Tell us about your move to Robertson Stephens
Erik: My decision to join Robertson Stephens is a deliberate strategic move to put us in the best position to fulfill the ever-changing wants and needs of our clients. There were two key things at the forefront of our decision-making process for clients—a) a sophisticated investment solution and b) a robust technology platform to facilitate the entire wealth management experience. On the technology front, we now operate a digitally driven system specifically designed to best navigate the wide variety of complexities and disparate information streams associated with sophisticated clients. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the industry that we feel is fraught with old and disjointed systems that are struggling to keep pace. Our platform gives us a complete and dynamic view of our clients’ assets, whether liquid or illiquid, in order to make informed decisions about their wealth. Turning to investments, the landscape has evolved quite a bit in the past decade, especially in the areas of alternative, tax-managed, environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies. We felt there was an opportunity for our clients here but the barriers to successful entry were high. We were looking for experience, expertise and access to integrate these concepts into clients’ wealth framework. Robertson Stephens and its collective human capital offered all three elements. We are excited to be further integrating these new ideas into our clients’ portfolios, where appropriate, as we speak.
3. Why Sun Valley?
Erik: I asked, “Why not Sun Valley?” There is a plethora of talented and accomplished people that both live and visit Sun Valley regularly. This yields an ecosystem of insight, innovation, and leadership that spans a variety of industries across the globe, all concentrated here. Kipp refers to this phenomenon as the “Seven degrees of Sun Valley”. I view our location as a strategic advantage that would be hard to replicate anywhere else. When I first moved to the area in 1993, I never dreamed that I would be doing what I love both with great colleagues and fantastic clientele. Since then, the industry has changed whereby it was no longer necessary to be in major money centers like New York City or San Francisco. Rather, being insulated from Wall Street was emerging as an advantage. Our local clients appreciate the fact that I am part of the Sun Valley community and that I can relate to their needs and goals, all in the while providing access to wealth management service on par with any major financial hub. I also feel it important to note that this venture will contribute to the entrepreneurial spirit and economic vitality of Sun Valley. I strive to set an example for visionary business leaders that live or spend time here – that building a more diverse, technology-infused local economy in Sun Valley is both possible and full of major benefits.
4. Why Robertson Stephens?
Kipp: Wealth management represents a massive market – but one where we believe a real gap exists between what consumers want and what wealth managers actually provide. My colleagues at Long Arc and I spent 18 months researching the space and ultimately concluded there are four basic needs all clients have of their wealth manager. Advisors should: 1) be a fiduciary, 2) provide exceptional investment advice, 3) offer a strong financial planning suite, and 4) do so with a seamless digital interface. When you look at the $25 trillion wealth management industry, you’re hard pressed to think of more than only a handful of firms that offer each of these and we thought there was a real opportunity to build something better for clients under one firm
Erik: Throughout my own due diligence on Robertson Stephens, I found that the name was regarded with innovation, relationships and impact—all characteristics I wanted to be associated with. The brand itself resonated very well with anyone over 40 within the finance industry. Alumni and seasoned veterans would refer to it as one of the “Four Horsemen” during the 1990s that was one of the key players in building what the U.S. tech economy is today. Robertson Stephens also offers a truly entrepreneurial culture. The culture of partnership we have is unique and is aligned with how wealth advisory firms should operate. Currently as a principal, I am hyper-focused on the mutual, long-term success of my clients, my team and the firm. Everyone under the Robertson Stephens banner has a stake in setting the industry standard and delivering the best for our clients. Simply stated, it is fun to work shoulder-to-shoulder with exceptional professionals and bring our experience and know-how through to the client-level.
5. What do you think sets Robertson Stephens apart from the rest of the wealth management industry?
Kipp: In response to those critical industry elements I mentioned before, Robertson Stephens has crafted a differentiated offering through four primary pillars:
- World Class Investment Strategy – Our investment office offers clients well-researched opportunities that typically have high barriers of entry.
- Holistic Financial Planning – We deliver a comprehensive financial plan that encompasses all aspects of the client’s life by offering services like trust, estate, tax, lending and philanthropy
- Best in Class Technology– We provide a complete picture to the client’s portfolio so that clients can make the best possible decision
- Execution in the Client’s Best Interest – We always put the client’s interests before the firm’s.
Erik: Beyond the four pillars, the value of the firm’s people and culture cannot be overstated. Working alongside the management team and Long Arc is truly a privilege and it is very clear there is an extraordinary gathering of human capital within and surrounding this firm. In the few months since we joined, we have experienced first-hand how the collaborative culture can elevate our practice. It is an empowering feeling having the confidence my colleagues have coalesced around a true vision of what they want to build, guided by what truly matters most: the clients.
6.What do you feel matters most to existing clients and prospective new ones about what you do? Take away for our readers.
Kipp: Having spent the better part of the last 40 years in and out of the finance business, I feel like I’ve finally got a solution when a friend says to me “I’ve just come into some liquidity and need to find an advisor, what should I do?” So now I can refer them to Robertson Stephens and feel very comfortable that the capabilities behind Erik and the team are exactly what they need.
Erik: We believe that this is just the beginning. We expect to deliver and evolve our services that best suits our clients over time, meeting their ever-changing needs and complexities. We’re excited to demonstrate the value of a true, contemporary advisor who can provide an elevated wealth management experience to both our current clients and to those that may be looking to get more out of their advisory relationship. An innovative, digital-driven wealth solution is available now and delivered in the heart of Sun Valley.
If you want to learn more about Erik and Robertson Stephens, you can contact Erik Boe at (208) 506-7301 or email@example.com.
Investment advisory services offered through Robertson Stephens Wealth Management, LLC (“Robertson Stephens”), an SEC-registered investment advisor. This material is for general informational purposes only and should not provide the basis for any investment decision. Any discussion of U.S. tax matters should not be construed as tax-related advice. This material is an investment advisory publication intended for investment advisory clients and prospective clients only. © 2019 Robertson Stephens Wealth Management, LLC. All rights reserved. Robertson Stephens is a registered trademark of Robertson Stephens Wealth Management, LLC in the United States and elsewhere.