Family office

Family office

A family office is a private company that manages investments and trusts for a single wealthy family.[1] The company's financial capital is the family's own wealth, often accumulated over many family generations. Traditional family offices provide personal services such as managing household staff and making travel arrangements. Other services typically handled by the traditional family office include property management, day-to-day accounting and payroll activities, and management of legal affairs. Family offices often provide family management services, which includes family governance, financial and investment education, philanthropy coordination, and succession planning.[2] A family office can cost over $1 million to operate, so the family's net worth usually exceeds $100 million. Recently, some family offices have accepted non-family members.[3]

More recently the term "family office" or multi family office is used to refer primarily to financial services for relatively wealthy families.[4]


Traditional and modern usage

A traditional family office is a business run by and for a single family. Its sole function is to centralize the management of a significant family fortune. Typically, these organizations employ staff to manage investments, taxes, philanthropic giving, trusts, and legal matters. The purpose of the family office is to effectively transfer established wealth across generations. The family office invests the family's money, manages all of the family's assets, and disburses payments to family members as required.

The office itself either is, or operates just like, a corporation (often, a limited liability company, or LLC), with a president, CFO, CIO, etc. and a support staff. The officers are compensated as per an arrangement with the family, usually with overrides based on the profits or capital gains generated by the office. Often, family offices are built around core assets that are professionally managed. In addition, a more aggressive and well-capitalized office may be engaged in private equity placement, venture capital opportunities, and real estate development. Many family offices turn to hedge funds for alignment of interest based on risk and return assessment goals. [5]

Modern family offices

Modern family offices are typically separated into three classes:[6]

Class A Family Offices are operated by an independent company that receives direct oversight from a family trustee or administrator. A typical Class A family office:

  • Offers comprehensive financial oversight of all liquid financial assets.
  • Offers daily management of all illiquid assets, such as real estate.
  • Can administer and manage the entire estate with little to no supervision.
  • Charges a flat monthly fee for all family office services.
  • Offers advice free from conflicts of interest and will not sell products.
  • Offers a comprehensive monthly report of all estate activity for no additional fee.

Class B Family Offices are operated by a bank, law firm, or accountant firm. A typical Class B family office:

  • Offers investment advice for a fee.
  • Can offer products and services outside the scope of a family office.
  • Does not directly manage or administer illiquid assets in the estate.

Class C Family Offices are operated by the family with the assistance of a small support staff. A typical Class C family office:

  • Has a staff that will monitor the estate and report into the family trustee with any irregularities.
  • Provides basic administrative functions, such as bookkeeping and mail sorting.
  • May have an office inside a family member's home.

U.S. legal situation

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, after intense lobbying pressure from trade organizations and large family offices, the U.S. Congress provided an explicit exception for family offices from registration under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 if they met certain criteria (family offices previously relied on the so-called "less than 15 client" rule to avoid registration under the Act but the rule was eliminated under the Dodd-Frank). The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) promulgated the final "family office rules" on June 22, 2011.[7]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Douglas, Craig M.; Todd Wollack (2007-06-08). "Case highlights family office risk". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  2. ^ Beyer, Charlotte B., "Family Offices in America - Why the Bloom is off the Rose", The Journal of Private Portfolio Management, Fall 1999
  3. ^ Frank, Robert (2004-06-10). "How to Bank Like a Billionaire". The Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones). Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  4. ^ Wakem, Maria (2005-03-22). "Family Matters". Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  5. ^ Opalesque (30 April 2010). "Opalesque BACKSTAGE Video-Terry Beneke: What attracts family offices to alternative investments.". 
  6. ^ Gardner, Scott, 2010 Article: "Family Offices Abound"
  7. ^

See also

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Family office — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Durante los últimos años el concepto de Multi Family Office se ha extendido mundialmente a tal punto de que muchas bancas privadas han reconvertido sus estrategias de marketing publicitándose como Multi Family Office …   Wikipedia Español

  • Family-Office — Der aus dem angelsächsischen Raum stammende Begriff Family Office, auch Family Office, bezeichnet die (stimmmäßige) Bündelung von Familienbesitz in einer Gesellschaft sowie die von Banken angebotenen Finanzdienstleistungen für diese Kundengruppe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Family office — Le concept de family office a fait son apparition aux États Unis au cours de la deuxième moitié du XIXe siècle. Des familles telles que les Rockefeller, Whittier et Pitcairn notamment, établirent pour leur compte des structures ad hoc afin de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Family Office — Der aus dem angelsächsischen Raum stammende Begriff Family Office bezeichnet Organisationsformen und Dienstleistungen, die sich mit der Verwaltung privater Großvermögen befassen. Als Organisationsformen stehen dabei entweder familieneigene… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Multi family office — A Multi family office (MFO) is usually an independent organization that supports multiple families to manage their entire wealth. Contents 1 Definition 2 History 3 Characteristics 4 Benefits …   Wikipedia

  • Multi Family Office — Ein Multi Family Office (Multi Client Family Office) ist in der Regel ein unabhängige Organisation, welche mehrere Familien bei der Bewirtschaftung von großen Vermögen unterstützt. In Europa gibt es insgesamt 4.250 Family Offices von denen sich… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Family Offices — are private wealth management advisory firms that serve ultra high net worth investors. Family offices are different from traditional wealth management shops in that they offer a total outsourced solution to managing the financial and investment… …   Investment dictionary

  • Office of the Secretary of Defense — OSD OSD Identification Badge Agency overview Formed 1947 Headquarters Pentago …   Wikipedia

  • Office of Special Affairs — Formation 1966 Type Department of Scientologists Legal status Non profit Purpose/focus Legal affairs and public relations Headquarters …   Wikipedia

  • Family Coalition Party of Ontario — Active provincial party Leader Phil Lees President Lynne Scime …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”