Retirement Planning

THE 'PERSONAL' CFO

Creating calm through coordination

The role of a chief financial officer (CFO), usually the third-highest position in a company, is no longer confined to the boardroom. Fact is, individuals — especially those who run their own small businesses — are realizing the benefits of having a personal CFO to coordinate the various components of their financial world.

Steven J. Bloch, Esq., CFP™, Managing Partner of Texas-based Bloch Private Wealth LLC, formed his company to provide those CFO-type financial coordination services to his clients. After graduating from Harvard College and Fordham Law School, Bloch spent a decade in the international tax departments of Deloitte & Touche and Ernst & Young (“EY”) doing proactive tax planning. He and his two partners then acquired EY’s Los Angeles-based Business Management Practice group. Bloch saw how the ultra-wealthy used family office services to manage their global finances. “We were really more CFOs at that point for the client base, charged with coordinating taxes, investments, insurance, estate planning and bill paying” Bloch told Advisors Magazine in a recent interview.

“I saw a need in the market for personal CFO services at an income level below the ultra-wealthy,” Bloch said. “So, I went and obtained my Certified Financial Planner designation, combining it with my background in tax law as an attorney, and opened up a multi-client, personal CFO type of practice.”

bloch quoteHe left LA for the Dallas area, bringing with him the same approach to business, after seeing a similar market opportunity in Texas. “You have people here who traditionally had four or five different financial service professionals handling various aspects of their financial world, but it was never under one coordinated umbrella, or there wasn’t one individual who could speak everyone’s language and coordinate the various service lines,” Bloch explained.

And that’s what Bloch Private Wealth provides; it’s a personal service company that coordinates insurance, investments, taxes, financial planning, risk management – the whole gamut for people that require such services. A typical client is age 40-50 with a family, who either has their own company or is high up in a company, with an estimated net worth in excess of $2 million.

“I’m looking for individuals that have an appreciation for proactive, coordinated financial planning,” he explained, adding “not silo planning where they have one individual handling their tax information, another handling insurance, another handling investments and those parties never talk. A coordinated approach often results in a different solution than those offered in a silo environment.”

Bloch Private Wealth spends a great deal of time educating clients and getting them to understand what the firm is doing and why. “I’ve had multi-millionaires tell me ‘Just do what you think is best,’ but I won’t operate that way,” Bloch said. “It’s their money and they need to take responsibility for it — and I’ll take as much time as is required to help them understand why decisions are made.”

Such decisions are often made with preparedness in mind, which allowed Bloch and his clients to remain mostly unfazed during 2020. “My clients did not freak out during the pandemic,” Bloch said. “I didn’t have to reach out any more than normal during this time because part and parcel of our approach is to do disaster planning. My clients know the financial implications of undesired circumstances long before they may occur.”

Preparing for worst-case scenarios, coupled with a cool, composed CFO, kept everyone calm.

For more information on Bloch Private Wealth LLC, visit: blochprivatewealth.com

 

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