B M O Wealth Management


Neil Hershcovitch

Neil Hershcovitch,
Head, Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) segment,
BMO Private Wealth

With multiple businesses, properties and family members often spread out across several countries and continents – ultra high-net worth clients generally have complex needs. They want the capabilities of a large organization without having to navigate it all themselves. Essentially, they need a boutique advisory team with direct access to the capabilities of a global platform.

“We take a boutique approach from within a large organization, and this is something we’re very good at delivering,” says Neil Hershcovitch, Head, Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) segment at BMO Private Wealth. “Working across businesses and borders is part of BMO’s culture, so we have the ability to create an outstanding client experience.”

Shifting opportunities

That experience hinges on understanding a web of requirements, which include complex personal needs, often tied in with corporate objectives, across multiple family generations, and geographic jurisdictions.

“We bring cross-border connectivity across our wealth, capital markets and commercial businesses,” says Hershcovitch, “which gives our clients seamless access to the breadth and depth of the entire BMO platform.”

“We bring cross-border connectivity across our wealth, capital markets and commercial businesses”
– Neil Hershcovitch

As UHNW clients look to preserve and grow their wealth, they’re interested in different ways to create liquidity and diversify risk. Hershcovitch says that you need to be nimble and innovative to serve this client set, from both a tactical and more strategic standpoint. This can include capabilities to lend against different asset classes, creating alternative investment strategies, day to day servicing, providing research, and strengthening the wider relationship with the family.

In addition, more rewards arise from what Hershcovitch calls the “intangible conversations.” These revolve around planning, business succession, wealth transfer, philanthropy, family dynamics and governance. There’s significant value in the ability to initiate those discussions in a trusted environment, listening to what clients find difficult to deal with, helping them understand the challenges and opportunities ahead, and working with them to tailor the right approach.

What are clients seeking?

UHNW clients want and need well thought-out ideas and options, in a coordinated approach. And, you can’t deliver them in a fragmented way.
“All the pieces are linked,” says Hershcovitch. “We offer our clients a well thought-out, consolidated view; illustrating how BMO’s capabilities can help make a meaningful difference to their family.”

He says education and peer-to-peer learning is also a priority with this segment. UHNW clients want to discover how other families are approaching similar issues and executing on strategies. BMO Private Wealth facilitates various forums where clients can meet and hear from one another in a safe environment. “They either value a new perspective and learning from experience, or a validation of something they may already be considering,” says Hershcovitch.

Delivering innovation

New products and new strategies start with different perspectives. “You have to have people who think differently and we’re fortunate to have great talent within our business with deep capabilities ranging from deal structuring to idea generation, thought leadership, and relationship management,” he says.

Clients want to work with professionals who can ask some of the more difficult questions, to challenge them and uncover possibilities they perhaps hadn’t been considering in the past.

“They’re looking for different ideas, trusted guidance and strong execution from across the bank,” Hershcovitch says. “That’s the differentiated value we provide at BMO.”

BMO Private Wealth is a brand name for a business group consisting of Bank of Montreal and certain of its affiliates in providing private wealth management products and services. Not all products and services are offered by all legal entities within BMO Private Wealth. Banking services are offered through Bank of Montreal. Investment management, wealth planning, tax planning and philanthropy planning services are offered through BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and BMO Private Investment Counsel Inc. Estate, trust, and custodial services are offered through BMO Trust Company. Insurance services and products are offered through BMO Estate Insurance Advisory Services Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. BMO Private Wealth legal entities do not offer tax advice. BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. BMO Trust Company and BMO Bank of Montreal are members of CDIC. ® Registered trademark of Bank of Montreal, used under licence.