BMO Wealth Management, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is a large financial advisor serving the ultra-wealthy. While the firm is legally registered as BMO Family Office, it also operates as BMO Wealth Management.
BMO Wealth Management provides a variety of financial planning and investment management services to high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients. The firm has advisors located throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Georgia and Florida.
BMO Wealth Management Background
BMO Wealth Management, which was formed in 2005, is a part of the same company that owns BMO Harris Bank. The bank is one of the largest in the country and has a particularly prominent presence in the Midwest. Similarly, the financial advisor firm has a major footprint in the Midwest. Not many other locations where BMO Wealth Management operates have a physical office. But in and around Tampa, Florida, the firm does have a number of brick-and-mortar offices. Before becoming BMO Wealth Management, the firm’s predecessor operated a number of offices in Florida. That’s why there are still some offices and advisors operating in the state, even though the majority of the firm’s advisors are in the Midwest.
BMO Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
BMO Wealth Management focuses its services primarily on high-net-worth individuals, single or multi-family offices, private foundations, endowments and pooled investment vehicles.
The firm requires its individual and family clients to have a net worth of $100 million or $30 million in investable assets. However, the firm may work with clients who do not meet those minimum requirements.
Services Offered by BMO Wealth Management
BMO Wealth Management's primiary services are discretionary investment management, non-discretionary investment advisory services and family wealth strategies.
As for its investment management services, BMO Wealth Management prepares investment policy statements, designs asset allocation strategies, selects or recommends sub-advisers, and monitors and reports on portfolio performance.
Family wealth strategies may include financial, tax and estate advisory serivces. For these clients, the firm works to identify their financial goals and focuses on legacy planning, philanthropic planning, estate planning and investment architecture.
BMO Wealth Management Investment Philosophy
The first step in creating an investment account is always for an advisor to meet with the prospective client. The advisor will attempt to learn more about the client’s financial situation, investment objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance.
In terms of general investment philosophy, asset allocation strategies are at the core of the firm's advisory services. Advisors devise asset allocation strategies based on the firm's near-term views and long-term expectations for individual asset classes. "This allows us to provide tactical and strategic recommendations to take advantage of immediate and long-term investment opportunities," the firm states in its brochure.
BMO Wealth Management uses asset allocation software, as well as quantitative, qualitative and subjective analyses to determine the optimal asset allocation for each client.
In managing portfolios, the firm uses long-term purchases, short-term purchases, short-sales, trading, options and other derivatives.
Fees Under BMO Wealth Management
The fees that you pay with BMO Wealth Management depend on your portfolio and the exact investment program that that you use. The programs are tailored to clients with certain account sizes, objectives or risk tolerances.
For discretionary investment management, the firm charges fees on either a retainer or as a percentage of assets under management. For retainers, fees and payment terms are negotiated. Retainers are typically invoiced either monthly or quarterly either in advance or arrears.
Asset-based fees are typically paid quarterly in arrears. The firm charges a minimum annual fee of $180,000. Management fees follow this schedule:
What to Watch out For
BMO Wealth Management does not have any legal or regulatory disclosures listed on its SEC-filed Form ADV. However, the firm only works with the ultra-high-net-worth, so potential clients who have less than $30 million in investable assets or net worths under $100 million will likely need to look elsewhere for a financial advisor. SmartAsset can help you find an advisor that meets your needs.
Opening an Account With BMO Wealth Management
You can learn more about working with BMO Wealth Management through the BMO Harris website. On the website, you’ll find a “Wealth” tab at the top. You will then see links to pages that address specific financial goals or challenges. The site also includes a way to search for financial advisors near you. Contact information for individual advisors is available on the site.
If you aren’t sure exactly what help you need, there is also an option on the website to input your contact information so that an advisor can initiate contact.
Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor
- Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- People often look for financial advisors when they want some help calculating how much they need to save for retirement. However, advisors can help you with a lot more than just retirement planning. For example, they can help you save for specific goals like buying a home or saving for college. As you advance in your career, they can help you navigate estate planning. Even if you handle your investments on your own, it can be useful to consult with a financial advisor occasionally.