Wealth management is often associated with investing alone, however there are many factors beyond investing that need to be addressed when applying wealth management. We recently hosted a family wealth session for a group of our family business clients entitled “Identifying Your Money Motto”. The session was facilitated by Franco Lombardo, a world renowned family business consultant who was able to enlighten the group on their behaviours and how they are influenced by money. We wanted to share a discussion we had with Franco, to provide some insight on why he’s had such great success with the families he serves around the world.
Why do you do what you do? I grew up in a household that wasn’t safe. Where the parents would put on the façade that everything was great and behind the scenes there was abuse and neglect. Nothing breaks my heart more than to see a family that’s got the financial means taken care of (which is typically the greatest challenge that most families have) and yet they can’t get along…because of the stuff that is in the way. It is the behavioural piece; their belief pieces. I do what I do to heal families and I’m passionate about it.
What makes you so good at what you do? I’m a voracious student of me. I’ve been studying myself for the last 20 years. All of us have events that occurred in our lives that mold us and shape us to who we become. Most of the time we are not aware of what those things are! I just took a position of curiosity. I want to understand why I behave the way that I do with the outcomes and results that I’m getting in my life, and a lot of those results weren’t positive. I was in bad relationships, I was financially irresponsible, I was a bad person…and I wanted to know that is not who I am but clearly I was behaving like this. As I started to look at what was driving me and what was motivating me, I started to share my learnings with my clients and those that I serve. I do that in such a way by being transparent and vulnerable. When I do that it gives permission to others to do the same, so I create a safe place for them. As a result they just go and share what they need to share.
What event precipitated you in taking this journey? I used to be in the wealth management industry and I managed a large book of business. I remember sitting one day with a client and we spent an hour and a half talking about what was going on with his siblings and his parents; at the end of our conversation I said “oh” and your portfolio is doing “this,” - the penny dropped-you know even though I was making a lot of money and “appeared” to be successful (just like my parents appeared to have everything together) I was still vacant inside and I knew I could do more, but I wasn’t sure what that was until that one day when I met with my accountant. I call him Mr. two percent when I speak of him because he called me out, that I was only performing at two percent of my capacity. I was actually relating my contribution to the world based on what money I was making (very selfishly at the time)instead of what can I give. I made a decision that I wanted to contribute, I wanted to make a difference, and I want to change the way people view a relationship.
What keeps you going? I want to see families have what I didn’t have. I want families to be able to feel safe with each other, to be able to have those deep, rich, open, transparent conversations that they’re longing for, without feeling they’re going to get hammered by someone that they’re supposed to love. I want families to feel safe because I didn’t feel safe growing up.
If there is one message you could give the world to make it a better place, what would it be?
Become curious about you! Become a student of you. Embrace who you are. Don’t be afraid of going into the closet or into the abyss to find out why you behave the way you do. As Nelson Mandela said and Marianne Williamson quotes “it’s our light not our darkness that most frightens us”. That’s where we find our greatest gifts-it’s there. So have the courage to find your gift and use your gift to change the world!
We will continue to make resources such as Franco Lombardo available to our clients, and look forward to sharing details on our next installment of the Northland Family Wealth Seminar Series in the near future.