Walk around the headquarters of Silvercrest Asset Management Group, and you’ll feel like a little piece of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello landed atop a New York skyscraper. Antique maps of Virginia decorate the four-floor office suite on Sixth Avenue, as do paintings of bird dogs on the hunt. A portrait of Archibald Stuart, a pal of the third U.S. president and an ancestor of late Silvercrest co-founder G. Moffett Cochran V, looms over the lobby.
The decor suggests stability and longevity, two things wealthy families look for in a money manager. After all, people hire family offices not to get rich, but to stay that way, with smart investments and savvy tax advice. “We’re trying to build a business that will last a very long time,” says CEO Richard Hough III, whose team, in addition to the core job of managing money, does everything from preparing taxes and running payroll for household personnel to consulting on art acquisitions and booking yachts. There’s no minimum net worth for clients, but Silvercrest likes to work with families that have at least $20 million.