Wetherby Asset Management Review
Wetherby Asset Management is a privately owned firm, with a small percentage of employee-owners handling the firms advisory business. The investment and financial advisory firm in San Francisco has more than $5.3 billion in assets under management (AUM). Wetherby's 42 financial advisors provide personalized investment management and wealth planning services to more than 500 individual clients. This group is dominated by high-net-worth individuals, but also includes non-high-net-worth individuals and various institutional clients.
Wetherby is a fee-only firm. This means that it only receives compensation from fees charged to clients’ accounts, which helps it avoid conflicts of interest. (By contrast, a fee-based operation may earn commissions from insurance or securities transactions, incentivizing it to recommend such transactions.)
This firm also appears on our ranking of San Francisco top financial advisors.
Wetherby Asset Management Background
In 1990, Deb Wetherby left her job at Morgan Stanley to found Wetherby Asset Management. She remains the firm’s CEO to this day, and holds chartered financial analyst (CFA) and a certified financial planner (CFP) certifications. Wetherby Asset Management is owned by a collection of 23 principals, all but four of whom are employees.
The 42 financial advisors at Wetherby hold a number of degrees and certifications. These include chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIAs), certified divorce financial analysts (CDFAs) and several chartered financial analysts (CFAs).
Wetherby Asset Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Wetherby primarily works with high-net-worth individuals. Its client base also includes individuals without a high net worth, pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses.
Weatherby adheres to a minimum account size of $10 million. However, this minimum is negotiable on a client-to-client basis. If you don't have enough investable assets to meet this minimum, you can find another financial advisor with our financial advisor matching tool.
Services Offered by Wetherby Asset Management
Wetherby constructs investment portfolios for each of its clients in order to meet their specific needs. This customization takes into accounts factors like their risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity requirements and investing objectives. It typically manages portfolios under one of the three guidelines below:
- Discretionary arrangement: The client cedes investment decision-making control to their advisor, who will act in accordance with their interests.
- Non-discretionary arrangement: Under this agreement, the client’s advisor must run all transactions by them prior to initiating any transactions.
- Consulting arrangement: The advisor will give the client investment advice, but they won’t have direct access to their portfolio in any way.
Wetherby also provides financial planning, wealth planning and other consulting services to clients. These offerings encompass retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, education savings planning and more.
Wetherby Asset Management Investment Philosophy
Like many modern firms, Wetherby Asset Management tends to stick to long-term investing, with a time horizon of at least a year for most securities. This doesn’t preclude the firm from selling investments on a shorter-term basis, though, as market conditions may call for such a move. Wetherby is also experienced in helping clients with impact investing and socially responsible investing (SRI).
On its website, Wetherby cites the three main components of its portfolio construction process:
- Asset allocation: Wetherby likes to invest in a wide range of asset classes in an attempt to ensure long-term success through diversification.
- Manager selection: The firm tries to match clients with fund managers that utilize active management to achieve solid risk-adjusted returns.
- Implementation: Wetherby’s advisors aim to minimize trading costs to keep from wasting your investable assets. It believes this can help induce positive results on a long-term basis.
Wetherby Asset Management Fees
Wetherby Asset Management uses a simple fee schedule that varies depending on the size of your portfolio.
|Fees for Accounts Under $10MM|
|Account Size||Annual Fee|
|$3MM - $9MM||0.75%|
|$9MM - $10MM||0.00%|
|Fees for Accounts Over $10MM|
|Account Size||Annual Fee|
|$10MM - $40MM||0.55%|
|$40MM - $80MM||0.25%|
|$80MM and up||0.15%|
The above fees are paid quarterly, in advance, based on the total market value of your account at the conclusion of the preceding quarter. You can pay these charges either via a direct withdrawal from your brokerage account or through a quarterly invoice that’s payable by check.
|*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.|
|Estimated Investment Management Fees at Wetherby Asset Management*|
|Your Assets||Wetherby Asset Management Fee Amount|
Wetherby Asset Management Awards and Recognition
Wetherby earned a spot on the Financial Times' 300 Top Registered Investment Advisors lists in 2014, 2017 and 2018. In addition, Forbes recognized the firm as one of America's Top Wealth Advisors in 2016 and 2017, and the firm also ranked on Forbes' 2017 lists for America's Top Next-Gen Advisors and America's Top Women Advisors.
See a full list of Wetherby's awards here.
What to Watch Out For
There are no disclosures listed on Wetherby Asset Management’s Form ADV, which means that it has a clean regulatory record with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm also generally offers fee-only, straightforward compensation arrangements. However, clients who direct the firm to manage any unsupervised assets should keep in mind that Wetherby can charge fees on such assets.
Opening an Account With Wetherby Asset Management
To open an account with Wetherby, you can call (415) 399-9159 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, feel free to stop by either of the firm’s branches.
- While many people might have trouble reaching Wetherby's $10 million account minimum, many advisors have much lower minimums. Finding the right financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors, get started now.
- Remember that investments held outside of a tax-advantage retirement account will be subject to taxation on earnings. To figure out how much you might owe, stop by our capital gains tax calculator.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.