Altium Wealth Management’s New Spin on “Office Environment”

A Purchase-based wealth-management company redefines “full-service.”

L to R: Mitch Brill, Jim Dowling, and Jim Giangrande

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The first thing you see inside Altium Wealth Management in Purchase is a sizable kitchen outfitted with sparkling appliances and newfangled coffee machines, which visitors are promptly invited to use. A fancy coffee kitchen as the centerpiece of an office in a gleaming Westchester tower? Doesn’t feel like an institution that deals in weighty financial matters, but that’s just the way the Altium partners want it.

They’d rather it feel like an old friend’s place, where a drop-in visit starts with a trip to the kitchen for a fresh cup of coffee. And then comes the talk.

“There’s an intentional design to the way the office flows, and the way the reception area is, that’s different from most other financial firms,” says Anthony DeStefano, one of four partners.

Altium, as its name declares, is a wealth-management company, one in a fairly new industry catering to the financial needs of wealthy and sometimes super-wealthy clients.

“The best way to understand wealth management is that it is the cross-selling of services and financial products,” wrote Russ Alan Prince and Arthur A. Bavelas in National Underwriter Life & Health magazine in 2002.

What that means, in the best case, is that every aspect of a client’s financial picture is weighed and considered together, from life insurance, wills, and bank accounts to investments, taxes, and 529 college funds.

Altium aims to set itself apart from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and other companies that offer wealth-management services with a fresh take on every part of running a modern, efficient business and the relationship with clients, starting with that cup of coffee.

None of the four partners has an office or a desktop computer. Instead, each carries a laptop computer and a mobile phone and sets up in whatever conference room, or even office site, that makes most sense for the moment. (The company maintains offices in Purchase and Paramus, New Jersey). Documents are scanned, stored, and distributed electronically. That mobility, they say, keeps them nimble and free from the weight of in- and out-boxes piled high with paper.



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