The world is ever-changing and family offices have to adapt and evolve in order to remain relevant to their clients and their evolving needs.
Originally the family office was conceived as a conservative fortress to guard the family wealth, invest it and shield it so that it may grow and be safe for generations. Over the last few decades, the world has become much more nuanced and with the impending wealth transfer close at hand, family offices are required to do more in order to stay at the top of their game. This has become a matter of relevance and listening to what the clients are asking for.
Alternative assets and luxury goods have blended so much over the last years, that many valuable acquisitions like watches and cars have become investments, which at times have even outperformed some financial markets. Identifying the right trends and products is the task of a well-versed lifestyle manager because investment specialists are not expected to know the ins and outs of the luxury market. So when, for example, a client wants to buy a watch and is asking for advice, then it is best to know which one will appreciate and which will depreciate over time. The same goes for cars as many can become money pits, while others can be truly valuable.
Lifestyle management is an art form and has little in common with the concierge service or VIP service offered by most top tier credit cards. Much rather, it is the art of helping clients add value in all areas of their lives outside of the traditional realm of the family office, such as finance or real estate management. Furthermore, lifestyle management enhances the client experience as it deals in things that generally excite the client such as travel, luxury or art.