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Cresset Capital Review

Cresset Capital is a firm that specializes in wealth management. Learn how its services and fee structure works in this review.

Cresset Capital, or simply Cresset, is a registered investment advisor (RIA) firm that’s based in Chicago, Illinois. It specializes in wealth management and investment advisory services for a wide range of clients. More specifically, the firm emphasizes multi-family financial advice, especially for those with high- or ultra-high-net worth. In its 2023 top 100 RIA firm list, Barron’s ranked it as the ninth best.

In this article, we’ll review what you can expect from Cresset Capital’s financial advisor services. This includes an overview of its ideal types of clients, what it offers, and how its fee structure works. We’ll also share information about the firm’s investment philosophy and disclosure history. Finally, you’ll learn how to open an account and, if necessary, contact the company’s customer service.

Assets Under Management

$40.73 billion

Date Founded


Chief Investment Officer

Jack Ablin, CFA

Fee Structure


Headquarters Address

444 West Lake Street Suite 4700, Chicago, IL 60606

Phone Number

(312) 429-2400

Pros and Cons of Cresset


  • Offers both discretionary and non-discretionary services
  • Provides family office services for ultra-net-worth clients
  • Zero disclosures


  • Fee minimum of $20,000 per year
  • Services and fees aren’t ideal for beginners

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Types of Clients

Despite it providing wealth management as a primary service, Cresset doesn’t set a minimum account size. Because of this, it’s able to serve clients of all asset levels, provided they’re able to pay its advisory fee (which we’ll expand upon further in the article). According to the firm’s Form ADV Brochure 2A, it gives financial advice to:

  • Individuals
  • High-net worth individuals
  • Ultra-high-net worth individuals
  • Trusts
  • Estates
  • Retirement plans
  • Charitable organizations
  • Corporations and other eligible business entities
  • Pooled investment vehicles, such as hedge funds

Financial Advisor Services

Cresset financial advisor services primarily encompass wealth management for high- and ultra-net worth clients. This includes both investment management (discretionary or non-discretionary) and financial planning. It also offers retirement planning for those with employer-sponsored accounts. As the firm provides its services, it upholds a strict fiduciary duty, which we break down in the investment philosophy section of this review.

Below is a more specific breakdown of what Cresset’s services have to offer:

Investment Advisory and Portfolio Management

One of Cresset’s primary services is investment management. That is, the firm and its advisors will work with you to build your portfolio. Then, they’ll continuously monitor and rebalance it, if necessary. You may receive this service in either a discretionary or non-discretionary capacity. With the former, your advisor will have the authority to trade on your behalf, rather than simply make recommendations.

Before your advisor can effectively manage your portfolio, they’ll sit down with you to understand your goals, risk tolerance, time horizon, and need for liquidity. These crucial details will inform how the firm invests its clients’ funds, including setting a target asset allocation.

While you work with Cresset, you’ll be able to invest in a wide variety of securities to reach your target asset allocation. Per the firm’s Form ADV Brochure 2A, these include:

  • Mutual funds
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • Alternative investments
  • Money market funds
  • Separately managed accounts (SMAs)
  • Government and municipal securities
  • Options
  • Corporate debt securities

Financial Planning

An additional service you can opt for is financial planning. This involves working with an advisor to take a comprehensive assessment of your current situation. Then, they’ll help you create an actionable strategy to help you reach your goals. In general, this service includes:

  • Cash flow planning
  • Investment planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning
  • Insurance planning
  • Tax planning
  • Education planning

Family Office

As part of its wealth management program, Cresset provides family office services. These services are largely custom to the client’s needs but include elements such as wealth advisory, estate planning, and cash management. They’ll also work with you to manage your lifestyle if needed.

Fee Structure and Cost

Cresset adheres to a strict fee-only structure when it charges clients. For its investment advisory, you’ll pay a percentage of assets under management (AUM), with a minimum fee of $20,000 annually. Financial planning and family office services require you to pay a flat or fixed fee according to the scope of the project(s) or time. These fees are negotiable, however.

You may also opt to pay for the firm’s services via a wrap fee. This includes an advisory fee and any additional expenses you incur while investing. If you don’t pay this way, you’ll be responsible for covering these extra costs separately.

Investment Philosophy

Hiring a financial advisor firm for investment advice or portfolio management requires a great deal of trust. For this reason, it’s important that you understand what ethical standards a company follows, as well as the investment philosophy it employs to structure your portfolio. In the case of Cresset, it strictly upholds a fiduciary duty, which it refers to as its True Fiduciary® Standards. These include:

  • Only acting in a client’s best interest
  • Ensuring financial planning is comprehensive
  • Strictly using a fee-only structure
  • Not charging a commission
  • Maintaining transparency regarding fees
  • Upholding transparency for how it builds portfolios and selects investments
  • Being independent from financial institutions, such as banks, custodians, and insurers
  • Using third-party platforms to evaluate a client’s portfolio performance
  • Not being involved in selling its own securities or products
  • Avoiding physical contact with a client’s money or assets

Also, while your portfolio is largely dictated by your preferences, Cresset follows clear-cut methods of analysis and investment strategies to make decisions. These include fundamental, quantitative, and qualitative analyses. Additionally, it will make both long- or short-term purchases of assets, depending on your needs.


Cresset Asset Management, LLC is registered as an investment advisor with the SEC, requiring it to file an annual Form ADV. This document details its advisory business, as well as any disciplinary action or conflicts of interest involving it or its representatives. This helps the firm stay transparent and accountable at all times.

According to its most recent Form ADV, Cresset had no disclosures to report. This speaks well to the organization’s ethical standards, which it espouses heavily in its Brochure 2A.

Customer Service and Becoming a Client

The best way to contact Cresset is by visiting the contact page on its website. This allows you to use its form to ask a question or file a complaint, if necessary. You may also view addresses for each of the firm’s offices on this page. Alternatively, you can call (312) 940-8552 to directly reach the company.

If you’d like to become a client, you can schedule a call with one of the firm’s founders through this form on its website. You’ll need to provide contact information and indicate your asset level.  

Tips for Choosing a Financial Advisor Firm

Finding the right financial advisor firm for your needs can be a challenge. It’s important to find a company with high standards and the services you require. We recommend opting for RIA firms that hire professionals with prestigious designations, such as certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), and chartered financial consultants (ChFCs).

It’s also important to pay attention to a firm’s account minimums and fee structure. For instance, if you’re a new investor with fewer AUM, a firm like Cresset may seem right at first glance. However, at a minimum annual fee of $20,000, you’ll likely be priced out if you fit into this category. A firm’s fee structure can also hint at how it does business. Most fiduciaries charge a percentage of AUM or a flat fee.

If you need help starting your search for a high-quality financial advisor, we recommend you use this free matching tool. Once you fill out a brief quiz regarding your financial situation and goals, it’ll connect you with up to three vetted fiduciary options in your area.


This review is based on publicly available information directly from Cresset Capital’s website and the SEC. Neither the firm nor its representatives have any say on what we’ve included on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cresset Capital a fiduciary?

Cresset’s status as an RIA firm requires it to uphold a fiduciary duty at all times. The firm also strictly outlines how it adheres to this standard in its Form ADV Brochure 2A, such as vowing to only use a fee-only structure and be as transparent as possible.

How much money do I need to open an account with Cresset?

Technically, Cresset doesn’t set an account minimum for its services; however, its services are mainly for high- and ultra-net-worth clients. The firm reflects this in its fee structure, often charging a minimum of $20,000 annually.

Is Cresset good?

Cresset appears to be a high-quality wealth management option, especially for those in the ultra-net-worth category. Additionally, the firm is quite transparent about its fee structure and ethical standards. You’ll also find it highly ranked on Barron’s 2023 top 100 RIA firm list, placing ninth.