Case Study

WLIM: Scaling up a wealth management boutique

18 pages
December 2020
Reference: IMD-7-2209

Jonathan Lachowitz founded a start-up venture in the Financial Planning industry called White Lighthouse Investment Management in 2006. He targeted a niche segment (US citizens living abroad) that had a critical problem that was not addressed by existing companies (e.g. US Tax Reporting). The organization has grown slowly and consistently. In 2015 the current form of organization is stretched to a maximum. There are several decisions Jonathan needs to make, he needs to decide whether or not to hire new employees or partners and he needs to come up with a strategy on what type of clients he should accept.

Learning Objective
  • How targeting a niche segment can be the key to success (need-based market segmentation).
  • How to create a knowledge-based service company (using Business Model Canvas).
  • Understanding the competition and fee models in the financial planning industry.
  • How the entrepreneur’s unique choices link to the financials by analyzing the DCF projected in 5 years, NPV, IRR and RI.
  • How this unique mix of consistent choices enabled initial success and sustainable growth.
Start-up, Financial Planning, Services, Knowledge Economy, Business Growth, Customer Focus, Customer Segmentation, Financial Analysis
White Lighthouse Investment Management, Finance and Insurance, Financial Services
2007 – 2018
Field Research
© 2020
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics