Best Practices When Considering a Single Family Office Structure

Join Morgan Stanley’s Managing Director, Head of Single Family Office Advisory, Valerie Wong Fountain, who leads the single family office advisory team; Managing Director, Marc Richman, and Senior Vice President, Brian Bernhardt, along with Family Business Magazine's Publishing Director, David Shaw, for an informative discussion on structuring a single family office for your business.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
2 PM ET | 11 AM PT
60 minutes

For many families, deciding when and how to create some structure around their family wealth and business can be a difficult task. What resources are needed, what services should be provided, who to hire and how much to pay are among the multitude of complicated questions. Whether the family is looking to establish a formal family office structure or just looking to access the resources traditionally provided by a family office, this session will provide some best practices for how families have approached and addressed these challenges. 



Valerie Wong Fountain

Managing Director, Head of Single Family Office Advisory, Morgan Stanley’s Signature Access Platform

Valerie Wong Fountain is Head of Morgan Stanley’s Signature Access Platform, which includes responsibility for Single Family Office Advisory and Lifestyle Advisory. She personally leads the Single Family Office Advisory team, which provides consultative services to clients who maintain, or are considering establishing, single family offices. Valerie also oversees Lifestyle Advisory, which delivers an extensive range of specialized resources to address the unique needs and aspirations of ultra high net worth families.

Prior to her current role, Valerie served as Co-Head of Private Capital Markets, a dedicated platform within the Global Capital Markets division of the Institutional Securities Group that is focused on raising capital for corporations in private market transactions. Valerie partnered closely with the Investment Banking Division to advise companies across multiple sectors on all matters related to their private funding goals. She also managed the private syndicate, connecting institutional pools of capital with high-quality issuers on a global basis.

Earlier in her Morgan Stanley career, Valerie served as Chief of Staff to James Gorman, Morgan Stanley’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. She was responsible for managing the Office of the Chairman and CEO and broader Firm management staff; liaising with senior executives, coverage officers, and clients on behalf of the Chairman and CEO; and driving key strategic projects and initiatives. She began her career in the Institutional Equity Division, where she traded a range of Delta One products including Exchange-Traded Products, Index and Custom Basket Total Return Equity Swaps, Futures, and Program Baskets. Valerie serves on the First Tee of Metropolitan New York Board of Directors and the Penn Golf Alumni Board. She is a leader of Morgan Stanley-related community affairs and philanthropic efforts. She is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Firm’s Multicultural Client Strategy Team. She recently completed a two-year term as Morgan Stanley’s Corporate Leader for the Council on Foreign Relations.

Valerie earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude and as a University and Joseph Wharton Scholar. She was also a Division I athlete, competing as a three-year letter winner on the Women’s Varsity Golf Team. In 2014, she was recognized as one of the top 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business by the Asian American Business Development Center and was awarded Most Influential APIA New Yorker by the National Association of Asian American Professionals New York. Valerie also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.


Marc Richman

Managing Director, Head of Single Family Office Advisory, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management

Marc Richman is a Managing Director and Private Wealth Advisor for Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, where he leads a team that provides investment and wealth planning services to ultra-high net worth clients. Marc joined Morgan Stanley in 2012 from Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, where he was also a Managing Director. He began his investment career over 40 years ago at Kidder Peabody. Over the course of his career, Marc has been recognized as a Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisor (2009-11 and 2013-19), a Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisor (2014) and a Forbes Best in State Wealth Advisor (2019,2020). Marc earned an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School (1980) and an A.B. from Clark University (1978). He is a board member of the Independent Mission Schools, the St. Martin dePorres School and the Children’s Scholarship Fund of Philadelphia.


Brian Bernhardt

Senior Vice President Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management

Brian Bernhardt provides strategic investment advice and sophisticated financial planning services to ultra high net worth families. A Certified Financial Planner, he often works with his clients and their other trusted advisors to deliver family office resources, including estate plans focused on strategic asset placement, wealth transfer, philanthropic giving, and tax mitigation strategies. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management in 2012, Brian served as a financial advisor at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management. He is a graduate of Cornell University with a B.A. in political science and international relations. He serves has served as a Trustee for St. Mark's Endowment, the Advisory Board of St. James School, Trustee at the Agnes Irwin School, the Advisory Board of the Arts and Business Council, and Board Member, including Board Chair, at The Clay Studio.


David Shaw

Publishing Director, Family Business Magazine

David Shaw is the publishing director of Family Business Magazine and its sister publication, Directors & Boards. With more than 30 years of experience in business-to-business and consumer media markets, he has served as an editor, publisher, publishing director, group publisher and group vice president of a variety of publications, trade shows, conferences and websites.

Prior to founding GRID Media, David served as senior vice president for Phillips Business Information Inc., where he oversaw nearly 100 discrete media properties, and helped build the business from $35 million to more than $100 million in annual revenues. He is a frequent author and speaker on issues related to business-to-business media, multi-generational family businesses and private and public company governance. He is married, with two grown children, one serving in the Navy and the other in law school.


• No cost to attend 

• Opportunity for questions and feedback

• Unbiased third-party family business education 

• All participants can receive a copy of the webinar materials after the event, upon request

• All participants receive Family Business Magazine weekly newsletter, with news, tips and trends that impact your family business. You may, of course, opt out at any time.

• 60 minutes -- maximum value for time


Morgan Stanley