FAQ | Kerr Financial

  • How can my family benefit from the Kerr Family Office model
    • Access to a personalized dedicated team of multi-disciplinary professionals
    • Objective financial advice and access to all investment managers (not pre conceived solutions)
    • Confidentiality and discretion
    • Administration of family financial affairs made easy from one location, including storage of confidential documents
    • Integration of tax, investment and estate planning strategies to optimize family results
    • Peace of mind that all compliance needs are taken care of and opportunities are not being missed
    • Access to best practices based on our experience with other successful families like yours
    • Experience and sensitivity to ways families can truly sustain their wealth (family education, governance, succession planning, articulation of values and helping you consider the purpose of the family wealth)
  • Are all Family Office Services provided the same?
  • No. Family offices are all very different and customized to each family’s unique situation. The services are personalized based on the family’s objectives and needs in order to provide services and education which meet the family’s long term values, goals and objectives. Kerr Family Office services are customized during the Family Discovery Process and updated regularly to meet the diverse needs of the families we serve.

  • Who needs a Family Office?
  • Today, more and more successful families are being overwhelmed by the sheer extent and complexity of their financial lives.  The more complex your financial situation, the more you may need the services of a family office.  Where you are selling a business and are faced with complicated decisions regarding tax, legal and financial management, a family office could handle these issues. If you are looking to build generational continuity using family trusts, philanthropy and estate planning, a family office would allow you to address all those challenges and more.  The Kerr Family Office concept is the ideal solution for obtaining complete financial management from a highly qualified dedicated team of professionals.

  • What is a Family Office?
  • A family office is a dedicated multi disciplinary team of professionals who look after your family’s complex financial and human capital needs.  The family office oversees and manages all of your financial affairs and maintains all of your financial information and records.  It provides customized services to several generations of your family and works to support the family to sustain and grow family wealth.

  • What is Kerr Financial’s fee structure? How do you charge for services?
  • For our financial planning, accounting and tax advisory services, fees are based on hourly rates for professional staff commensurate with their level of experience.  Fees for specific service mandates are generally approved in advance.  For clients who want ongoing personal financial management services, we set a quarterly retainer fee that is reviewed annually.

    Kerr Financial Advisors charges a fee for investment management services as a percentage of assets under management on a declining scale as the portfolio increases in value.

    For Family Office Services we generally charge a fee calculated as a percentage of assets under management for the Investment Advisory service plus a retainer for the services or an agreement to bill on a quarterly basis for work completed up to an approved annual budget.

  • Is there a minimum level of assets required to work with Kerr Financial?
  • Kerr Family Office clients by definition have wealth that will last for multiple generations.  What this means in terms of asset value can be different for different families but in general Family Office clients would have between $20 million and $500 million in investment assets.

    With respect to investment management clients for Kerr Financial Advisors, our usual minimums are $2 to 20 million in assets but we have created some pooled solutions whereby we can provide our best sub advisors to clients at lower portfolio levels.

    In terms of our other services, there is no specific minimum - as long as clients see value in the advice then we are happy to work together.

  • Why choose a fee-only financial planner?
  • A fee-only advisor is compensated solely by the client with neither the advisor nor any related party receiving compensation that is contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product.  These fees might be hourly, a flat retainer or be based on a percentage of your investment assets.  As a fee-only financial advisory firm that is independently owned, we provide personal financial advice that is free of bias or preconceived solutions, suited to our clients’ personal needs.  Objectivity is necessary when it comes to making the best financial choices for clients. We receive no fees from anyone, other than you, our client.

  • What is the advantage of working with a firm that also services family office clients?
  • Our Family Office division works with a number of successful Canadian families who have accumulated wealth that will last for multiple generations.  We help them to manage large investment portfolios with diversified strategies including alternative asset classes like real estate, hedge funds and private equity and we do deep due diligence on the underlying money managers that we select to help implement the investment strategies.  This work informs our investment committee in terms of selection of approved sub advisors that we bring to the rest of our investment management clients.  Similarly, the complexity in tax and planning that we manage for our Family Office clients highlights strategies that may be applicable for other clients of our tax and financial planning services.  In addition, there are some special education and governance services that are necessary to help families preserve and grow their wealth for future generations.  This sensitivity to values and financial literacy for next generation family members is beneficial in general and we can introduce these ideas with other client families that are interested.

  • What is the benefit of working with an Investment Management firm that also provides financial planning, accounting & tax return preparation services in house?
  • While a number of portfolio management firms have financial planning or tax specialists on their team, these resources may be limited.  Because Kerr Financial started as a fee only personal financial planning firm and has always provided accounting & tax return preparation services in house, we have a real balance between our investment management and financial advisory practices.  Our Investment Advisors work very closely with our Planners and Accountants to provide the best integrated overall advice.  The deep knowledge we gain about your goals & objectives and financial situation while doing your planning informs the development of your investment plan.  We manage your portfolio with true tax efficiency in mind, not only making installments and harvesting capital losses where appropriate but also looking at generation of taxable income in the right entities and at the right times.  And we strive to always provide you with integrated service so that your team of advisors work together to address all of your financial needs at any meeting or call that you have with us.

  • What does “Fee Only” mean?
  • Kerr Financial is a fee only advisor, meaning that the only person who pays us is our client.  We do not receive any other form of compensation in the way of commissions or trailers.  We therefore provide objective advice, free from pre- conceived biases.  We have a fiduciary responsibility to act in our clients' best interests.

  • Why should my family consider Kerr as an advisor?
  • We have developed a sound- customized multi-manager approach to investment management built on many years of experience with high net worth and family office client portfolio management which gives you access to world class managers that combine to complement risk adjusted returns.  We have depth of tax and financial planning knowledge and can bring this to your portfolio to ensure its most tax effective management.  And we are a small boutique firm so we can provide you a highly customized approach and you will work with the same small team of advisors who know all aspects of your financial situation.

  • Can you give me some examples of the integration of financial planning with portfolio management?
  • Having full knowledge of your family net worth and having done projections to understand your spending or savings targets, we are well positioned to help you make decisions about your ongoing income needs - Can you afford to give your kids a gift of capital?  Can you make a major charitable donation - and how should you do this most tax effectively?  Do you need to downsize the house in retirement and, if so, what can you afford as a replacement?  How much can you withdraw regularly from the portfolio while still preserving sufficient capital?  And, we can help you identify financial priorities and opportunities as they arise with changing circumstances, tax and economic environments.

  • Can you give me some examples of tax and investment integration?
  • Like  other firms we look at your portfolio at year end to see if we should harvest tax losses to offset gains realized in the year.  And we look at how to most tax effectively hold different asset classes between different family accounts depending on the tax attributes of each account.  But with a greater knowledge of your tax situation we can go further.  We identify the benefit of realizing losses to carry back to shelter capital gains realized in previous years.  We harvest additional taxable income in years that it will help to utilize medical or charitable tax credits.  We put in place appropriate income splitting strategies to lower your overall family tax bill.  And we are attuned to the tax attributes of all aspects of your portfolio.

  • What is unique or different about Kerr’s investment process?
  • Kerr’s process is customized to your individual needs and informed by deep knowledge of financial planning and tax provided by a team of highly accredited individuals working together. Kerr uses an institutional due diligence process to select and monitor managers which gives you co-ordinated access to world class managers that pair well together to optimize risk adjusted returns. With our diversified professional team, we ensure that your investment strategy is well integrated with your family’s overall tax and planning situation to help optimize your overall financial resources.

  • Why would I choose the integrated investment management service?
  • The main benefit of our integrated service is the confidence it provides you of having your financial affairs looked after by one small team of professionals working closely together.  We ensure that your tax and investment strategies are aligned - and you have one point of contact with professionals that know your overall situation.  Specifically, the integrated service has a number of benefits. It allows ongoing financial planning that takes into account the full knowledge of your financial goals and resources; it allows us to ensure that your assets are most tax-effectively structured and managed; it ensures that you are selecting and managing the best investment professionals to meet your needs; and it helps facilitate the completion of accurate tax returns with minimal hassle on your part as many of the tax slips and information is already close at hand.

Montreal Office Kerr Financial
1 Place Ville Marie, Suite 1680
Montreal, QC, H3B 2B6
Tel: (514) 871-8213
Fax: (514) 393-9516

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Toronto Office Kerr Financial
150 York Street, Suite 1212
Toronto, ON, M5H 3S5
Tel: (416) 364-9447
Fax: (416) 364-0892

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