Kennedy shares vision for BMO Family Office

  • Why this is important: more and more major banking institutions are seeking to cater to family offices.

BMO Wealth Management recently tapped Shannon Kennedy to run its re-branded family office division, BMO Family Office, with a focus on alternative investments for high net worth clients and single-family offices.

Kennedy came to BMO Family Office from BNY Mellon Wealth Management, where she was its regional president for southern California and the president of U.S. markets for the southwest region. Before that, she worked as director of global family and private investment offices at Northern Trust in Chicago for 26 years.

“The opportunity with BMO is kind of a culmination of all the different things I’ve done in my career, so I feel like I’m at a point where I can help them continue to grow,” Kennedy told Buyouts.

Kennedy said she was attracted to BMO because of its 200-year history, the presence of women in leadership positions and the chance to return to Chicago.

BMO Family Office was re-branded at the beginning of this year from “CTC | myCFO,” a name that was a carry-over from a previous acquisition. Kennedy said the re-brand was intended as both an external signal that BMO had family office services, but also to let clients know they could stay with BMO once they monetized their businesses.

“We have a full offering of investments including alternatives and private equity and access to some direct deals,” she said. “But in addition to that, it’s really governance, it’s tax planning, it’s legacy planning, trust planning, philanthropy, so really looking at the whole financial tapestry of wealth management and integrating that with these different families.”

“I see in general a higher allocation toward riskier assets, which would be hedge funds, private equity, real estate … anything in the alternatives space because they have a longer runway to achieve positive returns,” Kennedy added.

BMO Wealth Management is a part of the Bank of Montreal. The firm told Buyouts that as of April 30, BMO Wealth Management had $47 billion in AUM and $74 billion in assets under administration in total, but said they do not disclose separate numbers for the family office.  A January Form ADV filing said BMO Family Office provided “discretionary investment management services on assets of $12.77 billion and nondiscretionary investment advisory services on assets of $8.32 billion” as of Oct. 31, 2018, but did not disclose how much family wealth they worked with.

BMO also told Buyouts the family office has more than 300 clients.

As far as strategies, BMO told Buyouts that BMO Family Office invests in 80 different funds on platforms in private equity, private credit and real assets. The group is the GP on two funds, Palo Alto Investment Partners LLC I and II, but Fund II is in the process of being wound up and liquidated. The Form ADV filing lists several other funds the group oversee in an advisory capacity on behalf of clients.

Action Item: contact BMO Family Office here.