Home Business Insights & Advice What is a Family Office? How do they work?

What is a Family Office? How do they work?

by John Saunders
26th May 21 10:47 am

A family office helps to handle the wealth and investment management of wealthy families. They provide a range of different services to their high net worth clients, including not only wealth and investment management, but also assistance with issuing funds to members of the family, trustees and tax and accounting.

A family office is a useful service to have in place for individuals or families with large assets. A family office will help to safeguard clients’ financials, aids in delivering strong returns on investments, and can effectively distribute wealth around the family via the setting up of trustees and more.

Individuals and families will often need several million pounds in order to justify using a family office – some firms even having a minimum requirement for clients. However, requirements can vary from office-to-office.

Why do people use Family Offices?

Family offices can often be a preferred option over a private bank as they are comprised of advisors that are more highly skilled and senior. Family offices follow their client’s wishes, and can also invest in more sustainable and innovative opportunities – e.g. currencies, energy and real estate.

In addition to this, family offices can also provide a more personal service, providers able to operate with highly specialised, yet small, teams – the workforce having stemmed from impressive and large financial institutions.

What exactly is included in a Family Office?

A family office can provide a range of beneficial services to their high net worth clients, including the following:

  • Succession planning
  • Fund management
  • Trustees
  • Management of investments
  • Advisory management
  • Advisory for legal and tax
  • Real estate planning
  • And more…

There are a number of benefits for high net worth individuals and families to using a family office – these services available as either a Single Family Office or a Multi Family Office.

Single Family Office vs Multi Family Office

You may have heard the terms “Single Family Office” and “Multi Family Office” used before, but what exactly do they mean?

  • Single Family Office – acting on behalf of one individual or family of high net worth, able to hold all of the responsibilities mentioned above, including being responsible for financial investments, real estate portfolio, trustees and more.
  • Multi Family Office – able to act on behalf of multiple high net worth families, offering the same responsibilities including financial investments, trustees, real estate portfolio and more, but all available for a number of families and individuals rather than just the one.

Both types of family offices offer benefits, this however being dependent upon the individual/family’s needs and requirements. It’s important to explore the pros and cons of both before making a decision on which option is right for you.

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