Canoe Client Spotlight: Ohana Advisors

We take great pride in spotlighting the success stories of Canoe clients and the journeys that brought them toward operational excellence. Today, we’re shining the light on Ohana Advisors, whose tech transformation with Canoe has exemplified the power of collaborative innovation. In particular, we delve into Ohana Advisors’ role in Canoe’s Asset Data Design Partnership, showcasing their dedication to leveraging new solutions for enhanced operational efficiency and client service and their pivotal role in shaping the future of wealth management with Canoe Intelligence.

Ohana Advisors is the trusted advisor to 16 ultra-high-net-worth families, navigating the intricate landscape of investment opportunities and financial planning with precision and care. With leadership from John Schneider, Managing Partner & COO, Ohana’s 11 employees offer tailored services designed to meet the ambitious personal and financial goals of its sophisticated clients.

“Our main focus is working with ultra-high-net-worth families to manage their investments and overall financial life,” John begins, setting the stage for Ohana’s approach. “Our clients are sophisticated investors. Most of them are former venture capital general partners, and we support some real estate and entrepreneurial families as well. Our clients currently have average investable assets of $125M per family,” he adds, emphasizing the caliber of clientele the firm serves.

Reflecting on the firm’s journey, John shares, “We’re a 30-year-old firm, and we just recently crossed over $2B in assets under management.” This milestone, coupled with doubling its client base in the last five years, attests to Ohana’s unwavering commitment to excellence and growth. Ohana’s dedicated team operates out of San Rafael and San Francisco, CA with precision, ensuring each client receives the attention and expertise they deserve.

But, behind every success story lies the invaluable partnerships that propel growth and innovation. Ohana’s partnership with Canoe Intelligence has been transformative. “We’ve been working with Canoe for over three years,” John shares, recounting the start of their partnership. “What initiated the partnership was recognizing Canoe’s machine learning capabilities for processing alts data. The sole responsibility of one of our employees was to type data from statements into downstream systems. Our goal was to automate that process, which we’ve done successfully.” 

Initially drawn to Canoe by the prospect of automating document collection and data extraction processes associated with their alternative investments via Canoe Connect and Canoe Intelligence to Ohana, the collaboration promised scalability and efficiency.

Then, in the fall of 2023, Canoe opened up a client-focused Design Partnership for its Asset Data offering, providing an opportunity for the engagement between Ohana and Canoe to expand further. What drew Ohana to the program was its previous work with Canoe, and the team’s desire to continue automating other previously manual processes, particularly around asset data. “We were really trying to better understand what the funds we committed to were invested in and understand geographies, sectors, and other characteristics,” John added. “Going through the whole client base was a lot of work. I talked to our Canoe relationship manager about it, explaining the issues we had in this manual process and how we wanted to fix it, and we decided it made sense to participate as a design partner.”

Reflecting on the challenges that led to this decision, John describes the pre-Canoe Asset Data experience: “Our investment analyst would go through every private equity and venture fund, review their holdings, and create a spreadsheet that showed geographic exposure, sector exposure, and other relevant characteristics. He was manually going through PDFs, pulling out numbers, and putting them into a chart. So it was incredibly time-intensive and very frustrating for him, requiring about 2 hours per client each quarter.”

As the Asset Data Design Partnership unfolded, Ohana Advisors was an active participant, contributing perspective and feedback to shape the solution. “We wanted to understand the mechanics of the solution, how the data was collected, and how reliable the data was before we signed up for the full offering,” John explains.

Upon completing the program, Ohana opted to fully implement Canoe Asset Data, and the impact on operations was immediate. “We’ve been really happy with the offering so far,” John acknowledges, noting the substantial time savings and improved efficiency. “Checking the data versus assembling it in the first place is a much less time-intensive process.” Another laborious, manual process was replaced with Canoe’s streamlined automation, freeing Ohana’s team to focus on higher-value tasks.

Yet, the true “aha moment” came when the team witnessed their specific fund data neatly presented in a spreadsheet. “The first time we saw a spreadsheet with our specific funds with the data in it—that was probably it for us,” John quips, capturing the essence of the newfound efficiency and freedom afforded by Canoe’s solution.

Looking ahead, Ohana Advisors already envision a future empowered by Canoe’s technology. “We’re starting to think, ‘What else can we do with this data that we haven’t really considered before?'” John muses, hinting at the untapped potential and opportunities for innovation. “We’re looking at more of the data that Canoe can pull out and considering what other analyses we might want to be doing for clients. We couldn’t do that before because it was too time-intensive and manual to get there.”

With plans to leverage Canoe’s offerings comprehensively, Ohana Advisors remains committed to optimizing its operations and delivering unparalleled value to its clients. From Canoe Tax, the K-1 tool that supports tax-related data management, to further refinements on the Canoe Intelligence platform, Ohana’s journey with Canoe promises continued growth and success for its team and the families they serve.

About Ohana Advisors
For over 25 years, Ohana has advised ultra-high net worth families on all aspects of their lives. We are trusted and deeply experienced investment managers conducting thorough diligence of diverse investment opportunities. We serve as confidants to families facing complex business, financial planning, and personal decisions. Our dedicated team oversees the myriad of administrative responsibilities that often come with significant wealth. Ohana’s extensive capabilities and suite of tailored services help our clients meet their ambitious personal and financial goals.

Canoe is an Ohana service provider and not a current client of the firm. No compensation was paid for an endorsement and there are no material conflicts of interest.