The Sylvia Team: An Integrated Approach to Wealth Management
UBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Its business strategy is centered on its pre-eminent global wealth management businesses and its leading universal bank in Switzerland, complemented by its Global Asset Management business and its Investment Bank, with a focus on capital efficiency and businesses that offer a superior structural growth and profitability outlook.
|Tyler Hillson, Terri Smith, Nathan Krueger, Patrick Connolly, |
Amato Zarro, Kurt Sylvia, Pat Bradley, Tim Smith
UBS Financial Services has about 7,000 advisors across the United States, serving clients who have an average $143 million in invested assets per advisor.
In Florida, one of the top UBS teams is led by Kurt Frederick Sylvia, managing director - wealth management, UBS Financial Services in Palm Beach.
“We offer an integrated approach to wealth management,” says Sylvia, whose eight-member team focuses on ultra high net worth families with assets of $10 million or more. “The needs of our clients are different and more comprehensive than those of other affluent families.”
In terms of investment management services, the Sylvia team focuses on developing custom-tailored asset allocation strategies utilizing an array of different products, including equities, fixed income, structured products, and exchange-traded funds. But that’s just the starting point.
Through UBS Sylvia and his team also provide gold custody services, and provide financing solutions for clients seeking to purchase new yachts, private jets or multi-million dollar paintings and sculptures. Drawing on the global resources of UBS, Sylvia also helps clients with their private banking requirements, trust and estate planning services, tax management and philanthropic strategies.
“Through UBS, we offer clients access to research performed solely for private investors, as well as third-party partnerships with South Florida professionals and customized global solutions,” says Sylvia. “We bring it all together for our clients.”
An Experienced Team
Sylvia is one of the nation’s top wealth managers at UBS with more than 20 years of experience in serving the affluent market. In 2014, he was named one of the “Top 400 Financial Advisors in the U.S.” by Financial Times and one of the “Top 1200 Financial Advisors in the U.S “by Barron’s magazine — the latest in a long string of accolades.
A graduate of Providence College with a bachelor’s degree in finance, Sylvia is a resident of Jupiter with his wife and two children. He is a founding member of the 100 Friends of the First Tee Palm Beaches, and is also active in the Jupiter Medical Center Foundation, American Cancer Society and The Nantucket Cottage Hospital. His professional team at UBS includes Francis Patrick Connolly, director; Timothy Scott Smith, vice president — wealth management, a financial advisor responsible for financial planning, assistance with portfolio management and client services; and Nathan Donald Krueger, CFP, vice president — wealth management, a certified financial planner and portfolio manager.
“Our team has the range of skills to act as a family office for wealthy clients, bringing together various financial disciplines and delivering highly personalized service,” Sylvia says. “We can also create different accounts for individuals within the family office structure.”
In addition, the Sylvia team offers its clients access to UBS global investment portfolios, which are multi-currency, multi-asset class, unified accounts managed by investment professionals around the world. “Our clients have the ability to hold positions in multiple markets in native currency and non-dollar assets, and seamlessly execute trades and currency plays in over 37 countries,” says Sylvia.
Helping Wealthy Clients
As team leader, Sylvia stays in close touch with clients, listens carefully to their needs and brings in professionals with the expertise to provide the right solutions. For example, Sylvia last year assisted a South Florida family in selling a business by referring them to UBS’ global investment bank.
“UBS’ investment bank sourced the investors, and worked with the family to achieve their goals,” he says. “When the sale closed, our advance planning group worked closely with family members to ensure effective integration of tax and philanthropic planning, as well as asset management services. We also helped in defining the long-term goals for this multi-generational family.
The Sylvia team helped another wealthy client establish a philanthropic foundation to leave a lasting legacy. First, Sylvia worked with the client to define the goals of the foundation and its mission statement. “Then, we assisted them in putting some indicators in place to ensure the gifting responsibility is handled in an effective way,” he says. “Accountability is an increasingly important aspect in the non-profit world.”
Because the Palm Beach team does not provide tax or legal advice, outside professionals with appropriate knowledge and experience are brought in to handle those client needs, according to Sylvia. “Our advance planning professionals also work closely with a client’s legal, accounting and tax advisors to be sure everyone is on the same page.”
Take family trusts, for example. “It’s very important to set investment objectives and determine the acceptable level of risk for each trust,” says Sylvia. A multigenerational trust, for instance, might focus on steady growth as well as preserving capital with a time horizon measured in decades. On the other hand, a trust designed to maintain an individual or a couple’s health and lifestyle might focus on providing income, while protecting personal assets. Other types of trusts can be designed to protect the interests of children or grandchildren with special needs.
Looking at recent trends, Sylvia says some ultra high net worth clients take a straightforward approach to investment management, creating portfolios based on blue chip stocks and municipal bonds that provide tax-free revenue. However, other clients are concerned about increasing volatility within the fixed-income market, including corporate bonds and other securities.
“Historically, bonds are considered to be conservative assets that provide protection against the swings of the equity markets,” he says, adding that there appears to be a greater correlation between fixed-income and equity assets than in the past. “Clients are looking for tools and strategies to help them maintain an effective risk mandate for their portfolios,” he adds. “As a result, many clients are beginning to consider investments in alternative asset classes with a lower correlation to stocks and bonds. In any case, our role is to understand their personal goals and tolerance for risk, and help them develop appropriate strategies in our ever-changing world.”