Mel Lagomasino in InvestmentNews: Why WE Family Offices Became a B Corp
June 10, 2020
When thinking about B Corporations, also known as B Corps, we often think of consumer brands. Food companies like Ben & Jerry’s or apparel companies like Patagonia often come to mind, but rarely do wealth management firms. WE Family Offices recently became certified as a B Corp, making it one of the few in the industry. In an article recently published by InvestmentNews, WE Family Offices Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner Mel Lagomasino explains why the firm decided to go through the certification process and what they learned along the way.
According to B Lab, certified B Corporations are “businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” Simply put, B Corps consider all their stakeholders – their employees, clients and community – in addition to their shareholders. As a fiduciary firm built upon the concept of putting clients first, it only made sense for WE to formalize this commitment to clients by becoming a Certified B Corp.
“The concept of putting our clients’ interests first has been woven into the very fabric of our firm’s culture from the beginning,” Lagomasino explains. “Being a B Corp means you put your stakeholders first and balance the impact of every decision on all of those interests. So, for WE, becoming a B Corp was just a natural extension of being a fiduciary.”
According to Lagomasino, she and her team spent nearly six months on the B Corp certification process. They answered questions, reviewed internal policies and discovered that WE’s policies were already aligned with the B Corp standards. To further demonstrate their commitment to their employees, community and clients, the firm changed its operating agreement to include all stakeholders, not just shareholders. They also updated their 401(k) plan to include Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) options for employees.
“We looked at the requirements and said, ‘We are a B Corp, we just aren’t certified.’ So, we became certified,” summarized Lagomasino.
To learn more about WE’s decision to become a B Corp, read Mel Lagomasino’s entire InvestmentNews article here.