Black Point Capital Management was founded in 2000 to serve the investment needs of the Sprague family under the management of Seth Sprague. Now the firm is expanding its services to other well-off Maine families, offering asset and wealth management services, as well as training and consultations for those interested in keeping their money all in the family.
Black Point Capital Management was founded to act as the home office for the Sprague family and is a subsidiary of the Sprague's Black Point Corp., a privately owned entity of the third-, fourth- and fifth-generation heirs of P. Shaw Sprague. They use it to manage their common interests, including ownership of properties in Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough.
"I've been the point-person for my family, finding ways that I can help all of our extended family members with solutions to [financial] problems, but we decided we wanted to be a little more entrepreneurial about it," in offering services to other wealthy families, says Seth Sprague. "It's probably too expensive for most people to have their own independent family office, but they can get the same kinds of services by joining our firm."
Catering to the needs of multi-generational families with diverse holdings, Sprague said the firm will benefit from his own experience in managing a home office, a job that requires reaching out to a litany of advisers and business professionals (attorneys, brokers, CPAs, financial advisers) to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
"One of things we do when we take on a client is to get the information on all of their other advisers and reach out to establish a relationship. For example, if you have an asset manager looking at one side of balance sheet, and an accountant looking at the other side, there's a lot of ways to optimize that total balance sheet if the two are communicating with each other," says Sprague.
"We really thought there was a need for a quarterback to integrate and optimize between these services," says Alex Krieckhaus, president and chief investment officer of BPCM, who was brought on in 2010 to expand the firm's financial services and client base outside of the Sprague family.
Krieckhaus came to the company from NYC firm Fischer Francis Trees & Watts, an institutional asset management company with nearly $30 billion under management and offices in four countries.
The team was rounded out early this year when Tom Cattell, former Maine Bank & Trust director of wealth management, joined the firm. During Cattell's tenure at Maine Bank & Trust, the company grew to become one of the largest independent trust departments in Maine.
BPCM now services 15 clients, mostly families, with a combined $25 million in assets. Krieckhaus said he expects that figure to rise to $75 million by the end of 2012. BPCM's minimum asset threshold is around $500,000, with most accounts averaging closer to $1 million.
As part of its wealth management services, BPCM coordinates financial literacy training for younger generations as well as helps families to realize shared charitable goals.
The firm's approach is designed to mitigate risky investment. "It's not about how much money we made you, but how much risk did we give you -- we're trying to build portfolios that are as diversified as possible and thus create the best long-term, risk-adjusted returns," says Krieckhaus. "We are far more focused on quantifying how and what risks the portfolio is taking -- we don't try beating the market, we try to improve on what markets the client is invested in."