Family offices are not a new concept – having seen their origins in the 19th Century with the advent of the House of Morgan/Rockefeller – but increasing numbers have been formed in the last decade and the trend is seemingly for this growth to continue.
If the trend really is a friend then could a family office be right for you?
As concerns about wealth preservation and succession planning within family businesses grow, wealthy families are increasingly evaluating the benefits of establishing a family office. In our experience, much rests on the desire to facilitate the inter-generational transfer of wealth and reduce family disputes and, in that respect, the benefits can be summarised as follows:
- Governance and structure - The complexities of the family’s wealth may be dealt with transparently through the introduction of a “family charter”, which also assists in addressing potential areas of conflict. At the same time, confidentiality and discretion can be provided by housing wealth management and other services under a single entity owned by the family.
- Centralisation of risk management >- Aggregating wealth onto a single asset statement delivers a cohesive and comprehensive snapshot of the family’s overall risk/return position reflecting exposure to property, currencies, private equity and investment portfolios, including those with third party managers.
- Co-ordinated planning - Through meeting all of our clients and their advisors personally we are able to gain an in-depth knowledge of the family’s affairs that means services can be personalised, helping families to take advantage of efficiencies and a lower cost base.
- Trust - We recognise that trust is something we earn over time. We believe the key to establishing enduring relationships with our clients is by adding value to their lives, acting with professionalism, courtesy, integrity and transparency and therefor, over time, developing a trusting partnership.
- Peace of mind - In the event of an untimely death of the principle decision maker, having a trusted individual or firm in situ with an understanding of the family and wealth dynamics provides comfort and peace of mind that hard earned wealth is managed professionally by an independent third party.
- Potential higher returns - Family offices can help formalise the investment process and maximise investment returns for the family.
As Affinity is an independent business where all employees are shareholders and invest alongside clients, we are motivated to deliver a service that is pro-active, highly personalised and tailored to their needs – we seek to buck the trend.