Family office education: 8 institutions offering executive teaching

The family office industry is constantly evolving. New approaches to wealth management are continuously developing, as well as fresh asset classes and investment opportunities. For family office executives looking to keep up, consistent education has become a crucial requirement.
family office education
Governance Updated on May 3, 2024

In the past, family office executives had to learn the ins and outs of family wealth management on the fly while cutting their teeth in allied sectors such as banking, legal or corporate finance. However, leading institutions have started recognising this need for specialised family office executive education and are slowly expanding their offering of new executive courses for a number of different needs. These include next-gens wanting to enter the family business, family office management, wealth management and planning, to name a few.

Here is a run-down of some of the most interesting courses for further family office education:

1. IMD Business School: Leading Your Family Office

This highly specialised, three-day course in single-family office management is offered once a year on the IMD campuses in Switzerland and Singapore. The course content includes the introduction to the family office landscape, identifying trends and outlooks, asset allocation, wealth management, impact investing, and high-performing governance of a single-family office. The “Leading The Family Office” program is exclusively open to family members of existing SFOs or families who might be considering or are in the process of setting one up for their personal wealth management needs.

2. Harvard Business School: Family Office Wealth Management

Assisting family office professionals to navigate their investment allocations in an ever-changing financial landscape, Harvard’s program for family office education offers above all, deeper knowledge of office governance and wealth management, networking strategies, philanthropy investing, or intergenerational wealth transfer solutions. Despite directing their teaching towards family office executives, all members involved in family wealth transfer are encouraged to attend the program.

3. Pepperdine Graziadio Business School: Financial Management for the Family Office

This two-and-half-day program by the Graziadio Business School helps family office executives develop key skills in corporate governance, financial management, and evaluation to make well-informed investment decisions. The course at the Drescher Graduate Campus in Malibu is suitable for executives from both single and multi-family offices, as well as any member of the family who wishes to deepen their knowledge in wealth management.

4. Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University: The Single Family Office

This executive education course focuses on leadership skills to manage the complex, high-stakes environment of a family office. The program’s main objectives are aligning family office operations with its dynamics, promoting trust among stakeholders and developing succession strategies.

5. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania: The Wharton Global Family Alliance

The Global Family Alliance was established at the Wharton School in 2004 in partnership with the CCC Alliance Multi-Family office. The University of Pennsylvania offers both full-time degree and non-degree programs that share knowledge to help high-net-worth families and family firms grow on the global stage.

6. Chicago Booth: Private Wealth Management

The Private Wealth Management (PWM) programme is designed to assist individuals and families in defining their financial and family objectives. It empowers them to create a comprehensive plan that ensures the preservation and management of their wealth and provides them with more oversight over their financial advisors.

7. HEC Business School: Entreprises Familiales Gouvernance et Management

This in-person, executive education at the HEC Business School campus in Paris is a certified 2-week program in family business governance. The objectives of this course include, among others, executive administration training and industry-standard skills in corporate management.

8. Columbia Business School: Family Enterprises and Wealth (Online)

The Columbia Business School has recently launched this six-week, online course that aims to empower family enterprise shareholders and institutional investors with the knowledge to tackle the modern challenges in Complex Family Enterprises. The $2600 course has been curated by Professor Patricia M. Angus, the MD of the Global Family Enterprise Program and an adjunct professor at the Columbia Business School.

family office education

The global growth of family offices calls for reshaping current industry standards and replacing them with emerging solutions. Institutions offering tertiary, family office executive education will therefore play a pivotal role in keeping family office leaders up-to-date by ensuring their further education in new ways of wealth management, investing and other allied sectors.

If you are interested in learning more about these various courses for family office education, head over to our coverage on Forbes.