Starting a family office to manage family wealth offers a great way to tailor services and staff to suit the unique needs, values and interests of the family. Offering a highly personalised customer experience is the core advantage of family offices, which results in sustainable wealth management practices. At Simple, we know that a lot of the family office space remains a mystery. Through our work on the basics of building and operating family offices, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to make it easy for you to start navigating this space yourself.

 

 

Q

What is a family office?

A
A family office is a wealth management firm that serves (ultra-)high-net-worth individuals and families. This office typically offers outsourced solutions to meet the specific needs of its clients. Considering the complexity of its services and advisory, a family office is far beyond the capabilities of individual professionals.
Q

What is considered a family office?

A
A family office is a privately held company that handles the wealth management of at least one family or ultra-high-net-worth individual. Depending on the number of incumbents, a single family office or multi-family office might be best suited.
Q

What is the purpose of a family office?

A
A family office helps its incumbents manage and grow their financial wealth, support long-term goals, manage their unique needs of various kinds, and coordinate their assets with a unified strategy.
Q

What does a family office do?

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A family office offers a complex scale of services and advisory. These solutions vary from office to office based on their focus and asset class management. It is therefore essential to clearly determine one’s needs before starting or joining a family office.
Q

What is the difference between a family office and a private bank?

A
While private banks serve wealthy clients, family offices focus on super wealthy clients - they usually serve clients with at least $5 million who are able to invest in assets across various classes. Although private banks grow their focus on families and keep improving their services, family offices maintain their position by offering tailored solutions for their clients’ unique needs.
Q

Who needs a family office?

A
Joining or building a family office is beneficial for those individuals or families, with a very high disposable income and who are interested in growing this wealth. Clients of family offices receive professional advisory services that help them above all manage their wealth, invest in various asset classes and preserve their wealth for future generations.
Q

What are the types of family offices?

A
There are three types of family offices - a single family office, multi-family office, and virtual family office. Each of these types offers a different approach to wealth management. Before joining or establishing your own family office, you should evaluate your needs to choose the most suitable type for you.
Q

What is a multi-family office?

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A multi-family office is a type of family office. It is established to serve a group of at least two affluent families or (ultra-)high-net-worth individuals and offer them services and consultancy. In contrast with single family offices, multi-family offices are usually managed by a third party or were originally single family offices that offered their services to more families.
Q

What is a single family office?

A
A single family office is a type of family office. Generally, it is established by the (ultra-)high-net-worth family itself. Contrarily to a multi-family office that serves a group of affluent families, a single family office provides the most tailored services as they manage the wealth of one family only.
Q

What is the difference between a single family office and a multi-family office?

A
The main difference is in the number of families they serve. While a single family office focuses their services on managing the wealth of one family only, a multi-family office serves a group of affluent families. Due to its tighter scope, a single family office can offer more tailored services than a multi-family office.
Q

How to start a family office?

A
The decision to launch a family office needs to be a well-justified and informed business decision. Family offices have proven to be hugely beneficial to many wealthy families but are not necessarily a good fit for all. If there is a business case, a family should consider resource requirements including staffing, tax, legal and governance streamlines. Find a complete guide to starting a family office here.
Q

What is a family office investing?

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Family office investing is a type of investment that is beneficial to a family’s wealth, which helps its growth. There are many investment opportunities for family offices, including venture capital, impact, cryptocurrency, innovation, or education.
Q

What do family offices invest into?

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Family offices can choose from a wide range of investment opportunities be it real estate, venture capital and start-ups, impact and sustainability, innovation or cryptocurrency.
Q

Who are family office advisors?

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Family office advisors are professionals focusing on one or more aspects of family office operations. They can work in the family office or individually. Find the list of verified family office experts and advisors here.
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