Financial Gravity’s new multi-family office director leans on decades of tax expertise
John Walters has immersed himself in the tax world for nearly four decades, but only in the past few months did he expand his work into something else, as one of the newest multi-family office directors with Financial Gravity.
“I do, as the tax guy, I see it all,” Walters said, adding that his tax experience positions him to expand into investing and estate planning.
In the past, Walters had tried to fold investment advising into his tax firm but found it to be too much. “You're running, basically, two full-time businesses, and that’s tough to do,” he said. “And one of them is going to be lacking.”
But then Walters discovered the business model for Financial Gravity, a Texas-based company that helps tax professionals become multi-family office directors. The company takes care of management, operations and marketing for its directors so they can focus on growing relationships with their clients, as well as on research and planning.
Financial Gravity announced Walters as one of its newest directors last month.
“They are taking off a lot of the burden on me,” said Walters, whose business, LeWalt Consulting Groupe, is based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The partnership results in a split of fees for assets under management, he said, with 30% going to Financial Gravity.
The transition to multi-family office director also allows Walters to winnow his base of clients. “I know people in the tax world, they’ve got 1,000 clients or whatever, and they don't have time to give you proper tax advice,” he said. “So this is a lot better. I would rather work with about 100 people, you know, maybe 120 maximum, because then I can manage those relationships a lot better.”
Walters said he currently has about 45 clients whom he advises as a director. The arrangement, he said, also allows him to work with families that have as little as $250,000 to invest instead of just one family with tens of millions or hundreds of millions dollars.
“Becoming a family office director was a great decision, and having a supporting group of professionals assisting me will allow me to create a different lifestyle practice,” Walters said. “In the end, if things work out as they should, I will have created a more valuable practice that I can pass on to my heirs or sell at a greater multiple of what a tax-only practice would command.”