Kathy Lintz has staked her career on the importance of education.
Lintz, the founder and a partner and managing member of Matter Family Office, a $4 billion multifamily office in St. Louis, began her financial services career in 1980 working for Chase Exchange, an educational outreach arm of Chase Manhattan bank.
Helping consumers learn about personal finance and make better decisions was “quite inspiring” for Lintz, who graduated from Duke University with a degree in history.
“It was early days,” she recalls. “There were few CFPs at the time. We went to Chase branch offices and credit unions and savings and loans that did business with Chase and did educational lunch programs.”
When Lintz’ husband got a job with Anheuser Busch in 1984, the family moved to St. Louis and Lintz joined Bry & Associates, a sports agency that worked with professional baseball and football players.
Lintz became a certified financial planner and worked with athletes including Chicago Cub second baseman Ryne Sandberg and San Francisco 49er wide receiver Jerry Rice.
“I saw how compressed their careers were as professional athletes and the complexities that were involved,” she says. “They were taxed in every state they played in. They had to deal with new contracts and make decisions that had long-lasting consequences quickly. Every year was different. I saw how important family dynamics were and how much they needed a holistic plan.”
In 1990, Lintz founded her own advisory firm, KBL & Associates, specializing in financial planning for athletes. Sandberg and Rice became clients and remain so today.
“Kathy and her team have been a trusted confidante and friend to Margaret and I and our family for the last 30 years,” Sandberg says. “She has definitely gone above and beyond our expectations and wants from a financial advisor. We always trust her judgment.”
As word spread about the firm’s focus on planning and education, it began to attract business owners, corporate executives and wealth creators and inheritors. KBL morphed into Matter and for the last 15 years has been strictly a multi-generational multifamily office that now has clients in 24 states and offices in St. Louis, Dallas and Denver.
Emphasizing human capital has been key to the firm’s success, Lintz says.
As wealth has become more complex and families have grown, the need for education and governance to help families make better decisions has never been greater, according to Lintz.
“As life expectancy has increased, we’re now seeing four living generations of families,” she explains. “The founder may be 98 with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. That has never happened before. It’s made the need for planning, decision-making and communication more important than ever. My passion is to do that well.”
Matter now has three service lines, one for institutional investment management, and another for wealth planning and a third focusing on “culture and legacy,” which helps families “integrate a strategic plan with values and purpose,” Lintz says.
The dynamics of family partnerships, decision-making and learning are informed by industrial psychology and family systems theory, according to Lintz. “An effective family is the same as an effective team,” she explains. “There has to be effective communication, recognition of the strengths of the other members and shared goals. And you want to have fun.”
Human capital work will be a “much bigger part” of advisory firms in the next 20 years than it is today, Lintz is convinced. But firms can’t just talk a good game, they will have to charge for it, she says.
“Unless clients are paying for those services, firms can’t afford to staff for them,” Lintz says. “You can’t have one without the other.”
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