Influencers who impact Florida’s economic and political future, seek out Chris Ure’s counsel to help them make an impact on their community, which extends beyond their lifetime. We wanted to get to know who Florida’ Influencers’ go to for ultra-high net worth planning. Chris Ure is the person. Chris is recognized as one of the leading advisors to the über wealthy in the nation. Many seek out his counsel to help them with their legacy planning and ultimately benefit the greater community that’s our state of Florida. Chris Ure is the CEO and Managing Director of HightowerAdvisors Boca Raton in Florida.
SLEVIN: Chris welcome to the Influential Interview to share your perspectives on finance. Let’s start by discerning legacy planning from estate planning. Why is “legacy” important to Florida’s most influential and successful Floridians, and is it exclusive just to the wealthiest Floridians?
URE: Thank you Patrick for the kind introduction. It is my pleasure to share some of my insights with your readers/followers. Distinguishing legacy planning from estate planning can be a bit nebulous. I tend to differentiate them somewhat simply by “quantitative” vs. “qualitative” factors. In other words, estate planning deals more with structure, dollars, and logistics such as trust documents, guardianship provisions, tax efficient strategies and so on. Legacy planning goes deeper into what is really important to people and goes to the heart of people and their causes. Legacy planning takes on the unique characteristics of each individual or family while estate planning concepts can be applied across a spectrum of like situations.
Our planning process is extremely thorough and designed to assist our clients in determining how they can best leave a legacy not just an estate. This is by no means an exercise reserved for the wealthy as most people have certain aspects of their lives where their contributions come in forms other than currency. Many people are active in religious organizations, charities and other volunteer opportunities and these can be wonderful ways to make a lasting impression and a difference in your community. Many people do not necessarily think about their lives in terms of leaving a legacy but the moment the concept is discussed during our planning process it is rare that we are met with indifference. In fact, my experience suggests most everyone is genuinely more concerned about the legacy they leave than they are the money they transfer to the next generation. This is not to suggest the financial aspect of their estate diminishes in importance. Quite the contrary actually, what we find is our clients begin to think of their money as providing them greater opportunity to establish and leave a legacy.
SLEVIN: There’s a theme of giving back to the community. How about yourself? What has compelled you to seek out public service, namely a Commissioner on the North Broward Hospital District, and other noteworthy organizations over the years?
URE: I have been actively involved in my church and other volunteer organizations for a very long time. When my kids were much younger more of my contributions came in the form of financial support however, as my kids leave the nest I have definitely experienced a meaningful desire to give of my time and talents (hopefully) as well. At HighTower Boca Raton one of our core values is Altruism. We genuinely believe we are part of a community, a bigger purpose, and anything we can do to make the community better ultimately does indeed help us in the long run. Ironically, I did not seek out public service and, in fact, I have never had any political aspirations. I was contacted by the Governor’s appointments office and was of course honored to be considered, let alone appointed to serve on the North Broward Hospital District. The Board had been wrought with problems for decades, well before I was appointed as a Commissioner by the Governor. Just prior to my appointment, the District settled with the Federal government for a record $69.5 million. When the opportunity was presented to me, I did pause before ultimately agreeing to serve. However, in looking at the Board composition at the time, and knowing the experiences I have had in my career, I did sense this was an opportunity to do something really impactful for my community.
As I mentioned previously, political positions are not the only ways to make an impact. Obviously, we are seeing more and more attention being given to business leaders turned political leaders such as Governor Scott, President Trump, Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman and many others across the country. It takes a unique person to expose their lives to such a heightened level of scrutiny and controversy. However, I do genuinely believe there is a deep down desire in each of these people to give back, make an impact and leave a legacy their money cannot achieve on its own.
SLEVIN: How has this helped you as a professional counselor, namely, offering advice to your clients?
URE: I guess probably the biggest way it has helped me professionally is to practice what I preach. It’s a bit disingenuous to talk about giving back, but not do anything substantive. There is also a tremendous exposure to a wide variety of very real and timely issues I have been forced to address as a Commissioner, as President of my church and in other boards in which I serve.
SLEVIN: There may be readers who have never thought about their own legacies and planning. What advice would you give them as they consider going in that direction?
URE: The most important thing I would say is you must be genuine and passionate about the avenues you choose. You may think this goes without saying, but it most certainly does not. The worse thing one can do is to set out to do something positive and impactful and then drop the ball. This is not the “legacy” anyone wants to leave! Having the requisite passion and desire is what will sustain your involvement and will definitely help your contributions to shine and truly make a difference.
SLEVIN: Chris, I appreciate you sharing your expertise and insights. I hope you will be a guest blogger offering tips to our readers every month. In the meantime, if folks want to follow you on social media, what’s the best way to find you?
SLEVIN: Chris, thank you for your time and the discussion.
About THE INFLUENTIAL
Patrick Slevin is the publisher of THE INFLUENTIAL forum and e-newsletter. Sign up for our E-newsletter to begin receiving exclusive information about the People, Politics and Power that influence your bottom line interests. Go to www.PatrickSlevin.com.