People Moves

Hughes Hopes To Guide Eton To "Next Level" of Growth

Charles Paikert US Correspondent New York May 1, 2024

Hughes Hopes To Guide Eton To

The new president of Eton Advisors aims to take this multi-family office to a new level of growth, bringing his experience and range of contacts to the job.

Brian Hughes, one of the best known consultants in the ultra-high net worth space, believes that Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based multi-family office Eton Advisors is, for a successful firm with nearly $2 billion in assets, a “pretty well kept secret.”

As Eton’s new president, he also believes that he can use his industry contacts, expertise and marketing skills to take the MFO to “the next level” of growth.

Hughes first met Eton founders Teresa Eriksson, W Jackson Parham and Robert Mallernee 15 years ago when he was an executive at Threshold Group and the trio were contemplating their next move after stints at US Trust and UBS.

Hughes, who went on to head the consultancy Hughes Growth Strategy and co-found the marketing firm Touchpoint Growth Strategies, hoped the wealth management veterans would join Threshold. Instead they launched Eton as a goals-based firm focusing on multi-generational families with complex needs and between approximately $30 million to $300 million in assets.

Time to grow
Even without using outside marketing or public relations, Eton’s business model of concentrating on wealth structuring, investment consulting and client administration worked and Eton flourished. 

After 15 years, the time was right to focus more on business development and growth, according to Parham. Hughes had been consulting for Eton and his skill set and values aligned perfectly with the direction the firm needed to go, he and his partners agreed.

“It was a match made in heaven,” Erikson said. “Brian’s track record, focus on business development, marketing and strategy and his network were just what we needed and he understood that we wanted to grow but not compromise our values.”

After talking with the entire Eton team, Hughes said he was “blown away” by the firm’s resources, especially its proprietary technology integrating disparate functions into one software system.

“I’ve worked with around 75 firms in the UHNW market as a consultant and have seen every model,” said Hughes, who is also on the advisory board of the UHNW Institute. “Eton’s ability to leverage size by using one system rather than trying to cobble together different programs was very impressive.” (Family Wealth Report is exclusive media partner to the Institute.)

Hughes said he hoped to boost Eton’s growth business by leveraging relationships, adding expertise and bringing more resources to the firm. “I want to put us on the map,” he said.

Eton Advisors created Eton Solutions almost a decade ago. This entity, its creators say, enables new levels of process efficiency, data accuracy and accessibility, and risk reduction for ultra-high net worth family wealth management offices. Formed in 2015, Eton Solutions moved to the Microsoft Azure cloud in 2020. It covers tasks such as ledgers, bill payments, financial reporting, and CRM systems.

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