HigH net wortH
$7,500 for the custom search that
identified the prospects.
Was it worth it? If the firm gained
even one client, the fees generated from
managing that one account would likely amount to a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year. (WealthEngine declined to name the firm, or say whether
it had picked up any new clients.)
More common, say companies,
are simpler data runs costing about
$3,000. One sample query, for instance: all prospects of Hispanic descent living in New York or Los Angeles with more than $15 million in
investable assets. A search like that
will likely generate 10,000 names,
and will cost about $5,000. But ser-
One sample query: all hispanic
prOspects in new yOrk Or l.a. with
Or mOre in investable assets.
holdings. But that wasn’t all.
“It was fascinating. ... It told me not
only the amounts of money he gave,
and to whom, but also whether it was
cash or stock,” Kelly says. “It was al-
most a little embarrassing to look at
that much detail, but it was public.”
The database’s next trick also im-
upcoming milestones for clients or
prospects: when their shares vest,
when they get an equity grant, as
well as when they are promoted or
resign. All this information can be
delivered in customized alerts.
The data also tracks events as far back as 10 years that a client might not
have told advisors about.
vices are offered at a wide range of
prices. A large advisory firm might
spend $250,000 annually on data
searches, Dean says.
‘EMBARRASSING’ DE TAIL?
San Diego planner R.J. Kelly, the
founder of Wealth Legacy Group,
first heard about WealthEngine from
a friend in the philanthropy world.
The woman, who ran a foundation,
said that whenever she heard of a
possible new donor, she plugged the
name into WealthEngine.
Kelly says he really sat up and took
notice during a demo by a WealthEngine salesman. Just for fun, Kelly
asked for information on several of
San Diego’s biggest names, including
Irwin Jacobs, founder of Qualcomm.
For those who owned large blocks of
publicly traded stock, the information was all there — including Jacobs’
$2.1billion in Qualcomm and other
pressed him. He asked for all the individuals with $10 million or more in
the Mission Valley area of San Diego,
and it spat out about a dozen names.
“So here’s my target list — pretty extraordinary,” Kelly says.
Kelly, who plans to take the plunge
with WealthEngine this year, is unusual: Most advisors who use these
tools prefer not to discuss them.
But for those considering signing up
— even stealthily — here’s a guide to
some of the other big players.
FOCUS ON COMPENSA TION
Equilar Atlas is a database company
specializing in executive compen-
sation. It started a dozen years ago,
growing out of a compensation
consultancy serving the human
resources and corporate gover-
nance communities. Its database of
300,000 individuals, culled from
SEC forms, allows advisors to see
If you can be the first one to engage
and provide an idea or good advice for
the client to think about over the next
year or two, you might be at an advan-
tage,” said Brian Sohmers, who heads
Equilar’s Insight business unit.
High Net Worth Insight operates on a
similar idea, but searches more broadly
with an eye to the mergers and acquisitions market. In addition to keeping
a database of executives and share-