October 2017
Vol 5 | Issue 147

Q&A with Diane Petan

Managing Director of Masttro US.

Principal Series:

Family Office Insights sits down with Diane Petan, Managing Director of Masttro US, to discuss how Masttro’s platform and strategy is transforming wealth technology for high net worth families and family offices.

Family Office Insights is a voluntary, “opt-in” collaborative peer-to-peer community of single family offices, qualified investors and institutional investors. Join the community here www.familyofficeinsights.com

Tell us about your company and your strategy to help transform wealth technology.

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the Masttro platform and strategy. We are a global financial technology company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. We provide state-of-the-art wealth solutions for both families with substantial net worth and family offices around the world. I manage our North American business out of New York City. For the purpose of this PIR, I am representing the interests of our two founders and our headquarters.

Masttro strives to be the go-to wealth platform for all generations of high net worth (HNW) individuals and their families, family offices, and advisors. We offer the most comprehensive, intuitive, and intelligent technology available to bring together every aspect of wealth in one place. Masttro aggregates, analyzes, and monitors all assets, including investment accounts, private equity, hedge funds, real estate, art, cars, planes, wine, antiques, and other collectibles – everything! And, Masttro adapts to any family structure and can accommodate any number of entities, no matter the size or complexity.

I met Masttro’s founders a few years ago while working on a major next-generation wealth technology initiative at Credit Suisse. Masttro made a big impression at our first meeting at CS. We hadn’t seen a platform like this before. We instantly recognized the power and potential of Masttro and offered it to our UHNW clients.

Part of what I think makes Masttro so unique is that it is founded by wealth owners who have been involved in running their family businesses and their global, multi-generational family office for 25 years. With a long history of investing heavily in technology for their corporate interests and family office, the founders understood the benefits of being at the forefront of innovation. They wanted to bring the power of institutional technology to families managing large, complex wealth structures.

From a family office perspective, our founders intimately understood the pain points that most UHNW families experience and, like most, they couldn’t find an adequate solution from any bank or third party. Fortunately, they had the resources and the vision to develop a platform that addresses the technology needs and challenges facing the modern, global, multi-generational family. There was unmet demand in the marketplace for several important features, including robust security, automated and simplified operations, total transparency over assets and activities, trusted communication among family members, instant visibility for wealth owners to see ALL assets (regardless of type or underlying currency), and a solution to prepare for inter-generational wealth transfers.

After its founding in 2010, Masttro was quickly recognized as one of the most comprehensive solutions available for UHNW families. Because our founders fully understood the ins and outs of running a family office smoothly and effectively, they knew exactly what wealth owners needed in a platform.

Who is your target audience?

Our clients include high net worth and ultra-high net worth families, single-family offices, multi-family offices, RIAs and trust companies. Consequently, we work closely with investment advisors, family officers, accountants, and lawyers who manage the affairs of families. Masttro’s elegant front end empowers family members themselves to be the primary users of the platform, from the first-generation patriarch and matriarch to the third-generation millennial learning to manage the family’s assets.

Masttro was created to bring the family closer to the center of their wealth and the communications around it. This isn’t the way the market works currently. Typically, wealth owners get the occasional 100-page PDF from bankers and advisors to view their investments – and even those reports are an incomplete picture of their wealth and may not be the timeliest. For Masttro families, all of your most important wealth information, data, contacts, activities, and documents are consolidated in one view – whenever you want to see it and how you want to see it. Our platform is highly visual and interactive; you can instantly view a complete picture of your net worth at the macro level and then effortlessly drill down to the most granular details. Masttro is a robust communication tool for family members and their professional teams. And importantly, it is built on a foundation using the highest military grade security protocols to protect client’s privacy and confidentiality.

What are some of the challenges you face in this market?

Believe it or not, many families are still heavily dependent on paper and Excel. For this reason, these older systems are our biggest competitors and represent some of our biggest challenges. Even when prospective clients want or need to modernize (particularly in the case of a wealth transfer), there may be hesitation because of the notion that changing systems will be complicated and time-consuming. We’re changing that. We’ve redesigned and automated so much of the setup, maintenance, and monitoring of data, activities, and tasks, that our clients are pleasantly surprised at how fast they are up and running and at how much time Masttro saves them daily when actively managing their wealth. .

It’s been very gratifying to see the transformation of families or family offices using our platform. Being able to clearly and simply see everything they’ve amassed (in their wealth) in an instant and then quickly making sense of how it all fits together – well, it’s very cathartic for them. That, combined with the ability to easily share the information with the next generation, is an extremely powerful experience.

You may have seen the research that a significant portion of wealth is lost when transferred to the second and third generation, and that the lack of communication, trust, knowledge, and transparency is to blame. When a “gen one” family member passes away, it’s not unusual to see confusion about and misunderstanding of the estate and its destiny. This is particularly true if there was a lack of robust documentation and education. We’ve seen a number high profile examples in the press recently, including the ongoing disputes and battles around Prince’s estate.

Recognizing these challenges, we strive to bring control and transparency of information firmly back in to the hands of wealth owners and their heirs. This allows them to more effectively manage wealth transitions and communicate clearly with everyone in their ecosystem. It’s a powerful and reliable way to create trust. Masttro technology was built for this purpose.

How are you different from your key competitors?

As I said earlier, our founders’ first-hand experience and insight as wealth owners sets Masttro apart. We are a platform built for the future, but available today. We help families embrace the vast opportunities found in the virtual world. Some of our major differentiators include our elegant, modern design and ease of use coupled with powerful computing power as a foundation for the platform.

It’s been illuminating to see the reaction by families and family offices who instantly realize that we’re so much more than a reporting platform. Masttro stands out with its unrivalled, comprehensive suite of features that a family and family office require to oversee their diversified investments and run their operations. We excel in automation and aggregation advancements to help families and advisors lower operating costs, improve risk management, instantly retrieve answers to their most important questions, and identify opportunities by bringing order to the chaos from the constant flow of information – really, it’s the ultimate peace of mind.

Masttro mitigates the risk of losing important wealth data and information when it needs to be transferred to heirs. If a family is going through a big liquidity event or sudden wealth transfer, we help them bring control and certainty to the process.

We also do a great job tracking and organizing non-financial assets, no matter how obscure. And, the intelligence in the platform continuously monitors the ecosystem around the clock.

How are you changing the landscape of your industry?

We are helping families and advisors embrace a new age of technological advances. Why shouldn’t your wealth technology feel as complete and enjoyable as using an iPhone? Why shouldn’t we leverage artificial intelligence – we should and we are. Masttro is making it easier for people to make positive changes and improve the way their families communicate and manage their wealth. We are creating new, secure ecosystems that bring together families and their circles of influence that were previously operating in silos. Masttro creates synergies.

Masttro is also bringing the power of institutional-level technology to families and family offices, putting them on par with and often exceeding technology capabilities that were once only available to a large enterprise.

Who is the ideal family for Masttro?

Masttro was designed to be flexible, adaptable, and configurable to every and any family’s size and complexity. Each family is its own mosaic; they have their own unique structure and approach regarding how they think about their wealth, their family and their legacy. What they do have in common is that they have amassed significant wealth and expect modern technology to help them manage, grow, protect, and transfer their assets.

Masttro does especially well with larger high net worth families that have a lot of complexity and many moving parts. Our goal is to grow with families and support them over generations. We are creating a long-term relationship with our clients; we’re not just another piece of software.

What’s your mission?

Our mission is to create the new standard in wealth platforms for today and the future: providing the full transparency that families require to manage and control their wealth over generations, and the peace of mind that comes for knowing that their most important information is protected by the highest levels of security and confidentiality.

What’s next for you?

The velocity of technology is accelerating rapidly; we pride ourselves on being at the forefront. We will continue to push the boundary of new features and partnerships that will help change the landscape of the wealth industry.

Diane Petan

I’ve spent the last several years helping drive digital transformation in investment and private banking for Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. Prior to that, my career was focused on developing larger and more accessible global funding opportunities for emerging market governments and key institutions.

Please see the link to my bio for more about my background on our web site at www.masttro.com.


For more information, please reach out to Diane at dpetan@masttro.com.