Divorce in the Ultra-High Net Worth Space is a little bit different. Gates, Bezos, Kardashian . . . You don’t have to look too far into the headlines to see how important this space has become for wealth families. While the emotional pain is the same, the stakes are higher and the process can be more complicated. OLIVIA SUMMERHILL joins us to help us think through the issues.
In her practice, Olivia has seen the devastating effects of divorce on stay-at-home mothers in ultra-high-net-worth families. She is the founder of SUMMERHILL WEALTH MANAGEMENT and helps to protect their lifestyle when they are going through a high-stakes divorce. Having developed her financial career at JP Morgan, Olivia broke out on her own and started her own firm focusing on the space. Olivia’s practices focuses on affluent women. She is one of few financial professionals to hold Certified Financial Planner, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Certified Divorce Specialist, and Behavioral Financial Advising credentials.
I spoke with Olivia on the ins-and-outs of team-building around a divorce, her unique business model focusing on UNHW women and her advice for people going through the process.
Describe your background-
-How did you get to that point to making the leap to starting your own practice?
-Any specific challenges?
-You focus on a few specific niches- larger situations and women coming out of divorce. How did you come to specialize in that area?
-How do you define UNHW? ($50mm)
Engaging With The Client: Information Asymmetry-
-How do you get past the initial client’s shock?
-How do you get clients through that education process?
Teamwork with the Advisors
-Divorce is complicated and involves many different experts besides the divorce lawyer- what does a good team look like? (Legal, Tax, Investment, Estate, Psych, Administrative/scheduling)
-How do you integrate with the team / issue spot / decide who the quarterback is?
-Any examples where that has worked well (and where it hasn’t?)
What does your process look like?
-How do you know when to step in or step away from the emotional and psychological repair that needs to happen- when do you call in the experts? Do you get involved in the child custody issues?
-A big challenge is understanding cash flow needs and dividing illiquid wealth – how do you help clients think through that – how does that work with a divorce lawyer’s strategy? Pre/Post nuptial planning?
-If going through the internal questioning, what should someone thinking about a divorce be thinking about? What information should they be thinking of collecting? What happens when you don’t think in these “business” terms?
-You have a unique (and cool / aligned) business model- you consult but don’t manage money- help us think through that. How do you get paid for your value (I will be listening intently to this- I struggle with it myself)!!!
-What do you do to “get out there” given your business model?
-Is there anything idiosyncratic about doing business the Pacific Northwest? Do you clients come from all over?
Staying in Touch
-How do we keep track of you?