Review of Tolleson Wealth Management

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Updated on Wednesday, December 18, 2019

With 83 employees in its Dallas office, Tolleson Private Wealth Management works with extremely wealthy families — the minimum investment to work with the firm is generally $10 million. Tolleson Private Wealth Management currently manages nearly $5.6 billion for about 180 clients in the Dallas area, providing them with not only wealth management but also holistic financial planning services, such as philanthropic, tax and estate planning. Each client has a primary advisor who works with other advisory staff to create and execute the agreed upon plan.

All information included in this profile is accurate as of December 13th, 2019. For more information, please consult Tolleson Private Wealth Management’s website.

Assets under management: $5,563,283,533
Minimum investment: $10 million
Fee structure: Percentage of AUM; hourly charges; fixed fees
Headquarters:5500 Preston Road
Suite 250
Dallas, Texas 75205
(214) 252-3250

Overview of Tolleson Private Wealth Management

John Tolleson founded Tolleson Private Wealth Management in 1997 as a single-family office to serve his own family’s needs. In the more than 20 years since, the firm has grown to serve other families, launching Tolleson Private Bank in 2003. Tolleson Private Wealth Management activated its trust charter in 2006 to serve as a corporate trustee for families, and in 2014, it added philanthropy and foundation management services.

In 2017, John Tolleson became the firm’s executive chairman, passing the CEO title to his son, J. Carter Tolleson. Longtime employee J. Richard Joyner took over as president. The privately owned firm has 83 employees, including 58 who provide advisory services. The advisory team collectively holds a range of designations, including several certified public accountants (CPA), certified financial planners (CFP) and certified personal wealth advisors (CPWA).

The largest wealth management firm in Dallas, Tolleson Private Wealth Management currently has about $5.6 million in assets under management. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tolleson Wealth Management, of which John Tolleson is the majority owner.

What types of clients does Tolleson Private Wealth Management serve?

With a minimum account balance generally set at $10 million, Tolleson Private Wealth Management primarily provides investment advisory services to ultrahigh net worth individuals and families. Though high net worth individuals and families comprise the vast majority of the firm’s clients, the firm also provides portfolio management services to estates, trusts, foundations, private investment funds and trust accounts at Tolleson Private Bank and National Philanthropic Trust.

All of the firm’s clients are located in the Dallas area, though Tolleson is registered to work with investors in other states.

Services offered by Tolleson Private Wealth Management

Tolleson Private Wealth Management takes a comprehensive approach to helping its family clients manage their wealth. The firm’s primary focus is on investment advisory services, but 40% of the firm’s business comes from other services, including tax, bookkeeping, bill pay, cash management, estate planning, philanthropy and risk management.

Additionally, clients of Tolleson Private Wealth Management also have access to trust services and other private banking services provided through its affiliate, Tolleson Private Bank.

Here is a full list of services provided by Tolleson:

  • Investment advisory services/portfolio management
  • Private banking (via Tolleson Private Bank)
  • Financial planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Trust and estate planning
    • Charitable planning
    • Tax planning and management
    • Cash flow forecasting
  • Workshops and seminars; newsletters and publications
  • Family learning

How Tolleson Private Wealth Management invests your money

Tolleson Private Wealth Management crafts individual investment policy statements and fixed-income investment (if desired) policy statements for each of its individual and family clients. It uses those statements to find investment alternatives consistent with that policy.

Rather than selecting securities, Tolleson serves as an investment manager, helping clients form their asset allocation strategy and advising on whether it makes sense to use derivative investments, such as collars, swaps or options. The firm then implements the policy and reports at least once per quarter on the portfolio results.

Among the funds Tolleson Private Wealth Management recommends are its own 17 private investment funds, for which it provides advisory services. The funds focus on equity income, international equity, private equity, domestic equity, fixed income, energy, private equity and high-yield. Each fund invests in other pooled investment vehicles run by third-party managers.

Fees Tolleson Private Wealth Management charges for its services

Depending on the services offered, Tolleson Private Wealth Management can earn money through hourly fees, a percentage of assets under management and fixed fees. Below is a breakdown of its rates, but the firm’s policy is that all fees are negotiable, depending on several factors, including a client’s net worth and the complexity of the services provided.

Type of ServicesBasic Fees
Financial advisory services0.35%-1% of assets under management, payable quarterly

OR annual fixed fees, payable quarterly

Discretionary fixed income portfolio management0.15% to 0.20% of client assets under management, payable quarterly

The firm typically bills for its services each quarter, but clients can also request that their fees come directly from their accounts. Typically, clients who receive both financial advisory services and fixed income portfolio management pay a comprehensive advisory fee, plus a fee for the portfolio management. Additional services, such as bookkeeping and philanthropic planning, also carry a separate charge.

Depending on which funds clients invest in, they may also owe additional fees and expenses to outside firms such as custodians, brokers, mutual funds companies, money managers or private investments funds. Additional fees may cover fund overhead, such as legal and auditing expenses, and the cost of preparing financial statements and tax returns.

Tolleson Private Wealth Management’s highlights

  • Award-winning: Richard Joyner has appeared on Barron’s list of the “Top Independent Wealth Advisors” for the past two years, and the firm has made the “Annual Registered Investment Advisors Rankings” by Financial Advisor Magazine for the past seven years.
  • Holistic support for family offices: Tolleson Private Wealth Management not only provides investment and wealth management, but it also offers holistic support for all of the issues facing family offices, including trust and estate planning, philanthropy, family learning and bookkeeping.
  • A good work environment for employees: The firm treats its employees well, landing on “Best Places to Work” for financial advisors from Investment News for the past two years.
  • No disclosures: Tolleson Private Wealth Management doesn’t have any disciplinary disclosures (see more below).

Tolleson Private Wealth Management’s downsides

  • A high account minimum: Tolleson Private Wealth Management has a minimum account balance of $10 million, which is beyond the reach of many would-be investors.
  • High rate to work with the firm: The firm’s fees, as a percentage of assets under management, are lower than industry total fee averages, which RIA in a Box estimates to be around 1.17%. However, with a required minimum balance of $10 million, even clients who pay the Tolleson’s lowest rate will owe at least $35,000 per year for financial advisory services.
  • Potential conflicts of interest related to funds: Tolleson Private Wealth Management may recommend that clients invest in one of the 17 private investment funds for which it acts as an advisor. Those funds pay a 0.3% fee to the firm, which could provide an incentive to recommend those funds over others and present a potential conflict of interest.
  • Financial incentive to recommend certain investment vehicle: The firm also recommends that some clients invest in its donor-advised fund, for which it receives a separate fee, creating a financial incentive for the firm to recommend that vehicle.

Tolleson Private Wealth Management disciplinary disclosures

Tolleson Private Wealth Management currently has zero disciplinary disclosures. The SEC requires RIAs to report disciplinary disclosures on its Form ADV, paperwork that registered firms must file with the SEC. These include any regulatory actions, criminal charges or legal developments like liens or civil judgments that have been taken against the firm.

Tolleson Private Wealth Management onboarding process

Prospective clients can reach out to the firm via the contact form provided on the firm’s website, which requests your name, email address, phone number, a brief note and an indication of which services you’re interested in. You can also set up an appointment by calling the office at (214) 252-3250.

When working with a new client, Tolleson Private Wealth Management meets with them to learn more about their goals for their portfolio. Based on these meetings, the firm works with clients to create an “investment policy statement” and a “fixed income investment policy statement,” which it uses to evaluate and recommend investments. The firm creates an individualized team, led by a primary advisor and support staff, to provide other financial planning services, such as tax and bookkeeping, philanthropy and estate planning.

Most clients meet quarterly with their Tolleson Private Wealth Management team and receive at least quarterly statements about their accounts. As part of its estate planning service, the firm offers coaching and mentorship to future heirs.

The bottom line: Is Tolleson Private Wealth Management right for you?

Tolleson Private Wealth Management is focused on Dallas-area, ultrahigh net worth individuals and families at all points of their financial lives. It provides holistic financial planning advice and wealth management. While the firm may be a good fit for potential clients who fit that description, individuals and families with less than the $10 million to invest will likely need to look elsewhere.