The family office industry has grown by leaps and bounds since the turn of the decade. A 2019 study by FOX estimated that there were 3000-4000 family offices in the United States alone, excluding the ones that have been established but not yet licensed, that manage over $179 billion worth of assets. However, despite being such a massive financial services industry, it wasn’t until 2011 that specific efforts around family office regulations were made to enforce compliance into their operations.
The 2011 Family Office Rule
According to the 1940 Advisers Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission defines an investment adviser as “a person or a firm that, for compensation, is engaged in the business of providing advice to others or issuing reports or analyses regarding securities.” Family offices fell within the broad definition of investment advisers which requires them to be registered with the SEC for all their operations. In October 2010, a new rule was proposed to exclude family offices from the regulations proposed within the Advisers Act. This new rule, 202(a)(11)(G), was termed the “The Family Office Rule” and was officially adopted by the SEC on July 21, 2011.