Like a fish to water, another bank catering to the rich has found its way to Palm Beach.
Fieldpoint Private has a twist, however.
This boutique wealth advisory and private banking firm was created by people who once led the nation’s biggest investment banks and companies.
They include Daniel Tully, the former chairman of Merrill Lynch(Tully, a resident of Hobe Sound, died in May at age 84); David Komansky, another former Merrill Lynch chairman; Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone; and former Time chairman Reginald Brack.
After retirement, the founders agreed they weren’t happy about the treatment they received on the other side of the table, as super-rich customers listening to their brokers pitch investments. They even created a video describing the complaints that led them to form Fieldpoint.
Their main beef was that they were tired of being advised to buy products created by the brokerage that was advising them. All felt this was a conflict of interest, and they thought there was a better way.
So in April 2008, as the financial crisis was about to hit, they created Fieldpoint Private in Connecticut. The company offers wealth management and strategy, family office, private banking and business banking services.
The office grew to a New York location in 2011.
Now Fieldpoint Private has opened an office in the Phillips Point office complex, at 777 S. Flagler Drive, in West Palm Beach.
But the company plans to move an office on Palm Beach as soon as it finds space, said Bob Matthews, Fieldpoint president and chief executive.
Joe McCool, formerly of Capital Group Private Client Services, has been tapped to lead the Palm Beach office.
Matthews said Fieldpoint doesn’t have established requirements for clients, but generally, their clients are what he called “deca-millionaires,” or people worth tens of millions of dollars.
For these clients, Fieldpoint has attracted a range of stars to its leadership roster. This includes William Kennedy, chief investment officer. Kennedy formerly was global director of research for Citi Global Capital Markets, Inc.
During this time of global uncertainty, what’s the word from Fieldpoint on investing?
“We’re in the late innings of this particular game,” Matthews said. “So batten down the hatches.”
Put another way, Fieldpoint Private is advising its customers to hedge against the inevitable coming downturn.