Review of Homrich Berg

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Updated on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Homrich Berg is a Georgia-based financial advisory firm that provides financial planning and investment management services mostly to individuals and high net worth individuals. The firm has about 60 advisors on staff overseeing the firm’s nearly $7 billion in assets under management (AUM). Homrich Berg takes a team-based approach to serving its clients, assigning three to four employees to each account.

All information included in this profile is accurate as of April 30, 2020. For more information, please consult Homrich Berg’s website.

Assets under management: $6,985,243,185
Minimum investment: No minimum
Fee structure: Percentage of AUM; hourly charges; fixed fees
Headquarters: 3550 Lenox Road, NE
Suite 2700
Atlanta, GA 30326
www.homrichberg.com
(404) 264-1400

Overview of Homrich Berg

Andy Berg and David Homrich founded this Atlanta-based, fee-only firm in 1989 with a loan from Berg’s father. Homrich left Homrich Berg in September 2001. Berg, who is the firm’s CEO, remains the principal owner, with 23 co-owners, all of whom are principals at the firm.

Homrich Berg has 110 employees, 59 of whom perform investment advisory and research functions. More than 90% of Homrich Berg client service associates have earned or are working toward either the designation of certified financial planner (CFP) or chartered financial analyst (CFA), sometimes both.

The firm has four offices throughout Georgia, but serves families across 44 states. It has nearly $7 billion in AUM.

What types of clients does Homrich Berg serve?

Homrich Berg has more than 2,000 clients. Its client base is mostly individual investors, with about two-thirds of those clients being high-net worth individuals. (For reference, the SEC defines high net worth individuals as those with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million). Additional clients of the firm include pooled investment vehicles, profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, business and trusts.

The firm does not have a minimum account balance. However, for account balances below $500,000, the firm may implement a minimum fee, which would be higher than its standard tiered schedule based on the percentage of assets under management.

Services offered by Homrich Berg

Homrich Berg offers a full suite of financial planning and wealth management services to its clients. The firm also provides investment management services, which include a review of a client’s objectives, obligations and outside assets and the formulation of investment advice based on the client’s specific goals and risk tolerance, as well as the firm’s market outlook.

Clients have the option of just getting investment management services, or for a single asset-based fee, they can get both investment management and financial planning services. Financial planning is offered on a stand-alone basis as well.

Here is a full list of services offered by Homrich Berg:

  • Investment advisory services/portfolio management
  • Financial planning/wealth management
    • Retirement planning
    • Cash flow planning
    • Spending analysis and budgeting
    • Estate planning
    • Wealth transfer
    • Income tax planning and management
    • Insurance/risk management
    • Charitable planning
    • Education planning
    • Business planning
    • Divorce planning
  • IRA and 401(k) rollovers
  • Collaboration with clients’ lawyers, accountants, etc.
  • Selection of other advisors

How Homrich Berg invests your money

Homrich Berg creates personalized portfolios for its clients, based on their financial picture, goals and risk tolerance. In addition to focusing on diversification, the firm’s portfolios aim to minimize fees and taxes, and to take advantage of potential market opportunities without engaging in large market timing shifts.

The firm has a dedicated investment committee, which evaluates third-party managers and individual securities using a range of analysis, including liquidity analysis and counterparty risk evaluation. Investments used in client portfolios may include mutual funds, ETFs and individual stocks and bonds, as well as alternative investments, such as private equity funds, real estate funds and structured notes.

Fees Homrich Berg charges for its services

The firm typically charges clients a fee based on a percentage of their assets under management. It has two separate tiered schedules, depending on whether the clients uses just investment management services or investment management and financial planning services.

Investment Management and Financial Planning Fee Schedule
Assets under management Annual rate
First $5,000,000 1.00%
Next $5,000,000 0.75%
More than $10,000,000 0.50%
Investment Management Only Fee Schedule
Assets under management Annual rate
First $2,000,000 1.00%
Next $3,000,000 0.75%
More than $5,000,000 0.50%

In some cases for financial planning clients or those with a portfolio worth less than $500,000, the firm imposes a fixed annual minimum fee that’s higher than these percentages. Occasionally, the firm charges hourly fees to financial planning clients instead.

In addition to the fees listed above, clients may pay additional fees, such as brokerage commissions or transaction fees, to third-party managers, as well as any costs associated with investing in funds.

Homrich Berg’s highlights

  • Fee-only model: Advisors at Homrich Berg don’t receive commissions for selling products or making recommendations, so they do not have a financial incentive to do so. This eliminates potential conflicts of interest, better ensuring the firm is always working in the client’s best interest.
  • Industry accolades: Homrich Berg has regularly appeared on lists of the top firms in the industry, including The Financial Times’ 300 Top U.S. Registered Investment Advisors and Financial Advisor’s Top 50 Registered Investment Advisors.
  • Community commitment: The firm is dedicated to giving back to its community, with an annual firmwide day of service, and several other volunteer activities throughout the year.
  • No disciplinary disclosures: Homrich Berg has a clean disciplinary record, with no disclosure events noted in its Form ADV (see more below).

Homrich Berg’s downsides

  • Limited geographic footprint: While Homrich Berg serves clients throughout the country, its four offices are located in Georgia. Out-of-state clients who want face-to-face services might be better served by a local firm.
  • Higher fees for less wealthy clients: While the firm’s standard fees are in line with the industry (the average is 1.17%, according to RIA in a Box), it may impose higher annual fees for clients who have less than $500,000 to invest.
  • Preferred brokers: Homrich Berg has relationships with Schwab, TD Ameritrade and Fidelity, and it typically recommends that clients use those brokerages as their custodian. While the firm does not receive financial compensation for sending clients to these brokerages, clients may be able to purchase some investments at lower prices from a different firm.

Homrich Berg disciplinary disclosures

Homrich Berg does not have any disciplinary disclosures. All registered investment advisors are required to disclose any legal, regulatory or criminal events in the documents they file with the SEC.

Homrich Berg onboarding process

To learn more about working with Homrich Berg, you can call (404) 264-1400, or fill out this contact form provided on the firm’s website. Clients can expect to work with a team of three to four people, including a principal, a director, an associate and a client care coordinator.

The team will use interactive financial planning software to help you see your “wealth forecast” and how it changes over time, based on scenarios like buying a second home or changing your intended retirement date. The team will then create a customized portfolio, which you can view via a digital platform at any time. Additionally, the firm sends out quarterly investment reports to its clients.

Is Homrich Berg right for you?

Homrich Berg might be the right wealth management firm if you have more than $500,000 to invest and are located in the Georgia region. Clients with fewer assets might be able to find lower fees with another wealth management firm.

As always, when selecting a financial institution, you should research a few firms and speak with their representatives to make sure you’re choosing the one that’s the best fit for you.

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