Table of Contents

1.A changing market of FO's

2.Methodology

3.MFOs on the rise

4.Key insights from MFOs

5.Points of differentiation

6.Case studies

The Multi-Family Office Review 2020

Multi Family Office 2020
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For some, the term ‘multi-family office’ may conjure up images of an industry stuck in yesteryear. However, as a new influx of wealth owners make their way into the private wealth space, things are changing — specifically in the multi-family office segment. Here’s our review of the multi family offices in 2020.

Operations
Updated on February 23, 2024
By Francois Botha , Freya Williams
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1. A changing market of FO's

Family offices have been around since the 19th century, the Rockefeller family being the most notable example. For some, the term may conjure up images of an industry stuck in yesteryear – where business is done over whisky and cigars or on the golf course. However, as a new influx of wealth owners make their way into the private wealth space, things are changing.

“Things are changing. We can’t be the kind of multi-family office that sips whisky and smokes cigars anymore”- Founder of French family office

Across the globe, an increasing number of family offices are being established and ‘coming online’. Tech wealth is growing twice as fast as other private wealth, leading to an increasing number of entrepreneurs establishing family offices to manage and professionalise their capital. Additionally, the next-generation are taking over from their parents and grandparents within many established family offices.

Whilst this influx and growth is positive, the industry at large still has a long way to go in terms of knowledge sharing and capacity building. This fragmented nature of the ecosystem is at the core of what we are trying to combat here at Simple – and indeed the intention of the Multi-Family Office Review 2020.

Through this review, we will offer insights into the key trends which are shaping multi family offices (MFOs) around the globe. From regional activity to ownership structures, this review will deep-dive into some of the most fundamental considerations for established and emerging MFOs.

Our aim is to share knowledge and build capacity within the multi-family office space, in order for multi-family office leaders and service providers to build (and build for) resilient and future-fit organisations.

The outcome of this research is divided into three parts:

Who should read this review?

This research was conducted with family offices – and those working with family offices – in mind. You might be:

  • A multi-family office member or leader looking to explore multi-family office trends, learn from peers and benchmark your own activities against best practice.
  • A service provider to family offices (e.g private banks) who is looking to learn more about the trends shaping the sector.
  • An individual who would like to better understand the multi-family office landscape and be aware of what to consider when identifying a prospective Multi Family Office.

Five competitive advantages of a Multi-Family Office

  • Increased investing power: Multi Family Offices (MFOs) are a way for families to get exposure to new asset classes that have significant requirements. By bundling buying power together, families are able more easily reach minimum allocations.
  • Taking the lead: It is sometimes challenging for families to know what they need. MFOs are able to take the lead due to experience and input received working with numerous families.
  • Service asymmetry: Private wealth services can look very different from one region to the next. Where some MFOs are very operational, others are more strategic. There is an opportunity to standardize this through increased industry awareness.
  • Opportunity for transparency: Though the private wealth segment is widely-known for its privacy, a Multi-Family Office can offer a way to share in secure environments. Select group of families are able to open up and learn from each other whether it be about tech stacks or service offerings.
  • Collaboration with others MFOs: A multi-family office (MFO) is a way for families to tap into specialist resources and gain even better access to deals. They offer power in numbers through their ability to work with numerous clients.

About the Authors

Francois Botha

Francois Botha

Founder & CEO

Francois believes that the next generation of family leaders need new, simple tools and trusted experts with a fresh outlook.

Connect with Francois Botha
Freya Williams

Freya Williams

External Advisor: Business Anthropology

Freya is a business anthropologist specialising in qualitative insights and user-driven innovation. With a background in NGO’s and consultancy in London and Copenhagen, she works with Simple to co-create insights with our network of experts

Connect with Freya Williams
Multi-family office market fragmentation

2. Methodology

At Simple we often are asked about the best approach to establishing and operating a Multi-Family Office (MFO). The truth is there is no single solution which will suit all. But there are many established and emerging MFOs on the market that are paving the way with their focus on both existing and new customer segments. As the saying goes “good artists copy, great artists steal”, we have compiled this research to highlight the trends shaping the multi-family office landscape and to identify best practices. Our hope is that MFOs will be inspired by these best practices and adopt the processes which make sense to them. In order to identify these, we designed a standardised survey and conducted co-creation calls with a selection of MFOs. Informants and survey respondents range from some of the best-known and world-leading MFOs to new and disruptive entrants to the market.

The Multi Family Offices (MFOs) in question were headquartered in various locations across the globe – from the US to South Africa – and active in a broad range of markets. Between them, these family offices service ca. 700 families and UHNW individuals, managing over 16bn USD in wealth.

We noticed early on in the research process that whilst there are shared traits amongst the multi family offices, there too exists many degrees of separation. As a new generation of family offices come online, more diverse services and products are available. In the data therefore we also seek to look beyond trend analysis and also towards the outliers who provide examples of excellence within their niche.

As such we have included a case study section where we explore three very different Multi Family Offices (MFOs): Stonehage Fleming, Umana, and Oslo Family Office. Where Stonehage Fleming offers insights into how to create a highly credible brand and business, new wave MFOs such as Umana shed light on nascent trends within the next generation of wealth owners. We conclude with a case study on Oslo Family Office with reflections on how to set up a multi-family office in 2020.

Multi-Family Offices, Market Fragmentation

3. MFOs on the rise

Traditionally, the level of wealth was the deciding factor on whether families would choose to form a single-family office (SFO) or a multi-family office (MFO). If a family’s wealth had risen to above a certain level, setting up an SFO was deemed the natural next step. In some minds, there has existed a level of prestige attached to setting up such an SFO – a sign that a family had reached a new elite status. For others, setting up an SFO has simply been a practical solution for a family that needed support, both financial and extra-financial.

Multi Family Offices (MFOs) have traditionally been seen as the underdog, with an assumption that they don’t offer clients much more than wealth management. In 2020, however, this is changing as we see a number of factors contribute to the rise of the multi-family office (MFO).

New wealth owners

Today we are in the midst of the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. A recent publication by Talis Capital and Dealroom reported that private wealth has doubled in the last 10 years. Whilst some of this wealth transfer is following a natural change of hands that has been happening for centuries, there is a new driving force behind this transfer: the rise of tech entrepreneurs. Tech wealth is growing twice as fast as other private wealth, with 14% of billionaire wealth coming from tech.

Since the rise of the dot-com boom in the late 1990’s, serial tech entrepreneurs such as Gates, Jobs and Bezos have been propelled to success. In recent years, this has shown no signs of slowing with the five most valuable companies in 2019 being Facebook, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon Apple. Newest to this techno-elite list are the likes of Evan Speigel founder of SnapChat and John Collinson co-founder of Stripe making, recently making Forbes 10 youngest billionaires list.

These entrepreneurs have recently entered a state of wealth maturity whereby they are looking to family offices to manage and professionalise their capital. This has caused a shift towards private equity and venture capital within the multi-family office space, as serial entrepreneurs re-invest in the startup ecosystem. These new wealth owners are global in their approach, seeking and engaging in activities and investments in multiple regions and sectors. This has led to a surge in the multi-family office space as they look for support in managing these complex, cross-border investments.

The sharing economy

New mindsets and investment models are another result of this influx of these new wealth owners. As wealth ownership has diversified from family to individuals, attitudes to ownership itself have too changed. Digital technologies make it easier than ever to access services at the push of a button, causing traditional business models are being transformed. Today access is more important than ownership.

This mindset and model is referred to by many as ‘the sharing economy’, which is expected to grow in excess of $300 billion by 2025. Best defined as a system in which assets and services are shared between individuals, the sharing economy signals the transformation of traditional market behaviours into more collaboration consumption models. In theory, this ensures a more sustainable use of resources.

Though they are not strictly sharing platforms, Spotify and Netflix are the most widely recognized use cases for the success of the sharing economy. Tech startups have been the biggest driver behind the growth of the model. However, not all have received unanimously good press. Companies such as WeWork, Uber, and Airbnb have come under fire recently for unethical practices, demonstrating that the success of the model relies on genuine trust between related parties.

The sharing economy is fast becoming a mainstream part of modern society. We can see this change in action in the private wealth segment as the multi-family office (MFO) experience renewed interest and popularity. The challenge for multi family offices moving forward is to align themselves to this sharing mindset, whilst holding themselves accountable to ethical concerns across the board.

Deep market segmentation

With the growth of this new wealth segment, an increasing number of MFOs are entering the market with offerings that are tailored to the unique needs of the modern wealth owner.
These MFOs offer new structures, services and knowledge domains which act as key marketplace differentiators. MFOs are increasingly choosing to segment the market through depth rather than width. Through vertical segmentation, a multi-family office (MFO) is able to create unique services that are tailored to the needs of a particular niche. These are customers who value the company’s deep focus and expertise in a particular domain.

Multi Family Offices (MFOs) in this way are able to stand apart from the sea of vendors who offer similar products and services. Competition is significantly reduced as MFOs are not forced to compete on the same terrain as others, and are able to charge a premium for their industry niche. They become the trusted authority within a niche and are the first resource that families call upon when they need advice and support. The emergence of these highly specialised MFOs is helping to further grow and mature the industry at large.

The multi-family office landscape as such is being transformed by these three megatrends – an influx of new wealth, a move towards the sharing economy, and a deep segmentation of the market. But what are the best practices when it comes to the day-to-day operations?

We have broadly identified the most common characteristics of the multi-family office (MFO) through our survey, co-creation calls and selected interviews. The following findings and analysis aims to go ‘underneath the hood’ of the multi-family office, providing insights and best-practice recommendations from our team of experts.

4. Key insights from MFOs

Multi Family Office Trends, Location & Jurisdiction

Location and jurisdiction

The importance of multi-regions

Survey respondents were split relatively equally between the United States, Europe and Asia – coming from eight countries in total. European countries included France, UK, and Denmark. Asian countries included India, Hong Kong and Singapore.

50% of the respondents operated from a single location, with the remaining 50% having an operational presence in multiple locations – in some cases including tax jurisdictions such as Jersey.

Additional points of interest were the fact that the Multi Family Offices based in the United States hardly ever held European offices. Additionally more than half of the MFOs surveyed were founded in the last decade.

There are undoubtedly tax and structuring advantages with certain jurisdictions. However, demands for higher transparency and accountability mean that traditional tax havens have been increasingly coming under the lens. Many wealth owners as a result are opting for low-tax rather than tax-free options. As a result, we can expect to see more location agnostic offers in the future.

Moreover, as the adoption of remote working accelerates and the globalisation of business continues, family offices can expect to see new clients and markets opening up. In the future, we could see Family Offices with a skeleton presence in one location and a core team in another location.

Structure

In-house ownership

All of the Multi Family Offices surveyed were at least part-owned by management. Around 40% of those surveyed mentioned that key staff members also held ownership in addition to the management team. Some MFOs also responded that some ownership lies with their respective clients, or with external investors who are neither clients nor owners.

Though at the present time ownership structures are relatively conventional, moving forward we can expect MFOs to explore different models. The segment of Multi Family Offices who provide key staff with ownership could be expanded to include early employee options. With the rise of tech entrepreneurs in the private wealth space, we could see a multi-family office (MFO) structuring themselves more as startups than law firms.

A small but mighty workforce

The vast majority of MFOs surveyed (around 75%) responded that they had under 50 employees. Whilst 25% stated that they had between 10-50 employees, 50% stating that they had fewer than 10 employees.

Around 25% had over 50 employees, however, it is worth noting that within this there was a significant range: between 65 to 570 employees.

Family offices are traditionally small and agile operations. Though we can expect this to continue being the case into the future, the rise of remote working could lead to a diversified workforce as few barriers to recruitment will allow them to open up for talent. At the same time, enabling technology can allow teams to remain small and agile and source for task-focussed work.

Investment profiles on top

Around 70% of those surveyed had investment focussed roles within their organisation. These included Chief Investment Officers, Investment Analysts, and Investment Researchers. The remainder of staffing resources were allocated to support functionalities: from governance, reporting, operations to legal.
As it stands Multi Family Offices continue to place investment profiles at the top of their organisational chart. However, with a steadily increasing focus on extra-financial assets, we can expect to see a change in their prioritisation. As Oslo Family Office stated in an interview ‘the financial aspects are often the least of the family’s problems’. In the future, we might see this changing focus reflected in their staffing.

Client Overview

Selected clientele

70% of Multi Family Offices surveyed serviced fewer than 100 clients, with 40% of the offices servicing between 50-100 clients and 30% servicing between 0-50 clients. Only 30% of MFOs serviced over 100 clients. Though a multi-family office (MFO) can benefit from economies of scale, we can see from this spread that there is still a trend towards bespoke partnerships and alliances. MFO’s as such need to strike the balance between a broad client base through which they can leverage learnings, and a selected client base where trust and relationships are fundamental.

A regional focus for investments

Through the survey, we found that Multi Family Offices mostly worked with clients in the same region – specifically in the United States. Those who did have a wider geographic spread maintained a regional focus – ie. US-based MFOs working with Central and South American clients and Asia based MFOs working with Eastern European families.
In terms of investments, however, families are working globally on one level or another. Whether it is an Asian family investing in an American listed equity such as Apple, or a Scandinavian family choosing to directly fund an impact startup in South America, business is increasingly happening internationally. A multi-family office (MFO) that is able to support this cross-border activity will have an advantage of remaining in the trusted partner position.

Few serve the ultra UHNW individuals

The average client wealth of the Multi Family Offices ranged between $20m per family and over $100m per family. 50% worked with clients with an average wealth of $20m, 30% with wealth ranging between $50m and $100 and 10% work with the high-range clients. 10% did not disclose the average wealth of their clients. The vast majority of respondents managed at least 75% of the wealth in question, with more than 50% managing this entire wealth.

The highest concentration of MFOs as such can be found within a historically underserved segment –the sub-$100m category. As a new influx of wealth owners enter the market, we can see a diversification of wealth categories.

The new-nouveau riche

Around 70% of those respondents stated that their clients are first-generation entrepreneurs, with around 30% stating that the reason for setting up a multi-family office was due to an exit from a multi-generational family business.

There are many well-known family offices that service multi-generational families. It is worth noting, therefore, that the Multi Family Offices who participated in this survey, are largely indicative of this new wave of wealth and not representative of the whole market.

Whether clients are multi-generational families or the new-nouveau riche, a multi-family office (MFO) has the opportunity to better tailor their services to the segment they primarily serve. For example, it would usually be the case that succession-related services are more in demand for multi-generational clients, whereas for tech entrepreneurs venture philanthropy may be a more pressing concern.

Investing and operating at the same time

Of the Multi Family Offices surveyed who service around 700 individual families in total, around 65% of their clients have a stake in their operational business. On average the share of wealth still in operational business is around 40%.

From an involvement perspective, most MFOs limit their advice on operational business and act more as strategic discussion partners. They are focused on ensuring that the families’ operational and financial assets are aligned, and the related risks managed. A select few take a very hands-on approach, where they take care of everything on the client’s behalf. Some would instead choose to take a board seat and represent the client’s interests in this manner.

Whilst many Multi Family Offices not get directly involved in the core business, there are still plenty of opportunities to explore with families that have a share in operational business, such as supporting family expansions of future exits. This is a non-invasive opportunity for MFOs to collaborate on more deals that involve the clients’ respective businesses.

Services Offered

Wealth management and strategy as priority

100% of the MFOs surveyed offer wealth management and strategic asset allocation. The majority also offer a range of other services: from financial investments, real estate investment support, tax planning, legal counsel, philanthropy, direct investment support, strategic allocation to personal services.

If a multi-family office (MFO) didn’t have a full-service offering, real estate investment support and philanthropy tended to be omitted.

Few survey respondents outlined their offerings in non-financial services ie. governance, strategy, operations, communication, and reputation management. Yet in the near future, we could see MFOs differentiating themselves on these non-financial services. As soft assets become increasingly important in the market, MFOs have the opportunity to provide an even fuller service package and establish deep specialisations.

Fragmented reporting practices

With regards to reporting, around 50% of respondents produce reports on a weekly basis, with 25% reporting on a weekly basis. The remaining 25% report on a quarterly basis, but some of these multi family offices cited that they pair this with on-demand access to data.

The majority of MFOs used specialised reporting software, with around 50% using either a live dashboard or a bespoke solution. A handful of MFOs still make use of spreadsheets for reporting. The reporting practices of multi family offices as such are fragmented. As explored in our 2020 Family Office Software Review, finding the right software solution is a hindrance and real pain for family offices. With the growth of the multi-family office (MFO) software market, however, we can expect to see less fragmentation in terms of reporting practices.

Performance

Hard assets are still on top

More than 50% of MFOs placed financial performance as the primary indicator for investment growth, further highlighting how risk and volatility are the key indicators for the protection of investments. Just 70% of the MFOs cited investment personnel as an organisational priority, ‘hard assets’ are still on top. In order to assess the execution of administration and operations, MFOs utilize other KPI’s such as client satisfaction.

Nonetheless, there is growing interest in impact, the implementation of governance measures and the perception of security within investments. 75% of MFOs surveyed highlight how their clients at least show an interest in re-aligning their portfolio to consider factors other than financial assets.

70% additionally mentioned that they already measure social or environmental impact when assessing the financial performance of their clients portfolios. Though the status quo remains slow, there is growing consensus that the extra-financials will be increasingly important moving forward.

Day-to-day operations

Software is becoming the norm, but there’s still some way to go

Software solutions are fast becoming the norm within MFOs, with most companies utilising a cloud-based set of operating tools. As the survey was conducted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, MFOs were further asked questions about their level of preparedness for remote work. Over 80% of respondents stated that they were well prepared for this scenario.

The adoption of software tools and remote working is indicative of MFOs becoming more digitally-fluent. However, there is still room for improvement. Less than 50% of those surveyed utilised more sophisticated software tools such as bespoke financial planning products and consolidated reporting. Only 30% of MFOs made use of specific deal flow software.

Software is still a major pain for family offices. This has to change as MFOs can only remain the trusted advisors if they are able to offer accurate, consolidated views into their clients’ wealth that simultaneously report on the factors that are of interest to various individuals.

Revenue

Retainer services and basis points are the key models

The most common revenue stream amongst MFOs is a fixed monthly retainer in exchange for their services (75%), with basis points that are linked to Assets Under Management coming in a close second (70%).

Whilst some are working with hourly or daily fees for non-financial services (45%), others include an initial onboarding fee (30%) and carry on investments (20%). Those working with carry on investments make more than 50% of their revenue through this stream. The total fees for almost all our respondents were between 0.5% and 1%.

With direct investment allocations on the rise, the ability to identify and engage in the right opportunities can be very rewarding to a multi-family office (MFO) and their management if they also take a carry on these investments. Taking risks alongside clients also helps promote alignment.

Looking beyond the financials

The majority of the MFOs survey did not offer services on a purely value-added basis. Those who chose to do so focus on the realms of strategic planning, introductions, events, educational services, and other concierge services.

There could well be an opportunity for MFOs to expand on their value-added side. By leveraging technology to optimise this offering, time would be saved but added value still delivered. As a result, MFOs could offer an SFO style service to groups of clients.

5. Points of differentiation

As a final point of reflection, we asked each MFOs to identify their key market differentiator. The responses highlighted the following factors.

  • Owner and client: A key differentiator for some MFOs is their ability to be both owner side and client side. By having owners who are also owners, they are able to gain a holistic view of the organisation.
  • A regional advantage: Other multi-family office (MFO) respondents from Asia cited their regional focus was a specific advantage when working with families.
  • Full service vs. specialized: Where some MFOs highlighted their deep specialisms as a unique vantage point, others drew attention to their full-service offering and 360 degree approach.
  • Size matters: Similarly, where some highlighted the benefits of a small and niche approach others focus on being lobal in their scope.

Multi-family office differentiation, service design

6. Case studies

Best-practices are important. However, as seen in these responses, there are also huge upsides to market differentiation. It is important therefore to highlight both the universal truths that the multi-family office (MFO) industry is built upon as well as the specific nuances of each multi-family office (MFO). The next section of case studies explores three MFOs in focus: Stonehage Fleming, Umana, and Oslo Family Office.

Becoming a ‘trusted’ advisor: Stonehage Fleming

Stonehage Fleming is one of the world’s leading independently owned family offices, advising over 250 families around the globe. Adding value across the whole spectrum of a client’s family wealth – from long-term strategic planning and investments to day-to-day advice and administration – Stonehage Fleming has a heritage dating back to 1873.

What services does Stonehage Fleming offer?

We help families manage and protect their wealth. As their trusted adviser, we provide counsel, management and implementation across the full spectrum of family and family wealth requirements. We are as comfortable playing a key role in the Family Council or Investment Committee as we are
arranging for priceless art to be hung on the wall.

Our clients are some of the world’s leading families, often with complicated cross border requirements. We help them determine a strategy and purpose for their wealth, and ultimately assist them to transition their wealth to the next generation.

Tell us a bit more about what differentiates Stonehage Fleming from other Family Offices.

Our differentiator is not our expertise but the experience we have acquired over decades working with successful families. Our local presence combined with our global reach enables us to deal with complex, multi-jurisdictional families.

Our client relationships span several generations – the Fleming Family for example is into its sixth generation, and we are advising the third generation of other families served since the 1970s. This reinforces our culture of honesty and discretion which helps to build trust. The practical wisdom afforded to us through these longstanding relationships cannot be easily replicated.

Why is trust important?

Working with families and their family offices is not only about performance, it’s also about building trust and working seamlessly together in order to meet their strategic goals.

Our business model is based on long-term relationships and open communications with our clients across multiple generations. One of our values is moral courage and we will always act with integrity and conviction, asking difficult and challenging questions – we would rather be respected than popular!

Our service centres around regular contact with our clients and the provision of coordinated advice. It is critical that we stay up-to-date with the family environment and proactively respond to their changing needs.

Tell us a bit more about how you approach your client relationships.

We start by asking clients what the purpose of their wealth is. We first identify what a family is trying to achieve and what their values are, then build a narrative around their history. In doing that we can begin to understand the ‘DNA’ of the family and their mentality towards assets and risks. We believe that no financial legacy can survive through the generations without addressing these key issues first.

We identified four pillars of capital – financial, cultural, social and intellectual – that are key to the long-term sustainability of family wealth. We do not impose solutions. We use our extensive personal and professional experience to support families in achieving their goals.

Redefining wealth through impact: Umana

Established in 2018, UMANA is a multi-family office based in San Francisco that focuses on serving some of the world’s most powerful, influential and misunderstood individuals. From Silicon Valley Tech Founders, to Influencers, Conscious Athletes & Celebrities, Umana’s mission is to create and redefine wealth.

Tell us a bit about the services Umana has on offer.

Umana is a human-driven and tech-enabled family office. We offer a range of services along that spectrum: from portfolio intelligence and smart portfolio management to wellness services and human flourishing. We create the bigger picture and present this to our clients with clarity, ultimately helping them to answer the question of ‘what does wealth mean to me?’· Our services are geared towards reorienting capital towards a new economy that is focused on meaning and human relationships.

What’s the vision behind Umana?

Our vision is first and foremost to redefine wealth. It’s important to us that each of our clients has a solid understanding of what wealth means to them. Once that is clear, we work on creating more.

We find that most clients are more motivated by creating real value in the world, than by simply creating more capital wealth. For them, it’s about changing the world for the better and leaving a legacy that they will be proud of.

Spiritual connection and healing are very important to our organisation. We call our family members our ‘family by choice’. They love that.

Tell us about your approach to client relationships.

We are extremely hands-on. We truly become the COO – or even the CEO – of the client’s life, specifically in relation to their individual ownership and leadership.

We offer a range of services purely on a value-added basis, from spiritual guidance, to advice on personal finance. We educate them on a range of topics, from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to cryptomarkets.

Our clients’ level of joy and fulfilment are the key metrics through which we measure our success. We also utilise impact metrics in order to assess what their legacy will be. And lastly we look to financial results.

Why should Impact be on the radar of Family Offices?

Green companies are really having their moment during this crisis. We’ve already had significant allocations in companies like Beyond Meat, but in March this year we started increasing them. Investments like these have been performing extremely well, and will continue to do so. Through these investments, we are able to generate high financial returns without betraying and of our core values and principles.

It’s been encouraging for our investors to see that our heart-driven approach to business has proven to be ‘antifragile’ – even in the face of a ‘black swan’ event like COVID-19.

A next-gen mindset: Oslo Family Office

Oslo Family Office is a newly established multi-family office with a strong focus on the future challenges and possibilities that exist around family wealth. With a background in Norwegian single-family offices and management consulting, co-founders Sigurd and Andreas were looking for a new challenge.

Despite steadily increasing family wealth over the past 10-15 years, no multi family offices existed in Norway. Their core hypothesis is that the next generation of wealth owners will ask for more than financial return. The opportunity arose to bring their hands-on experience to more families, leading them to establish Oslo Family Office in 2020.

What services does Oslo Family Office offer?

Most Family Offices value an investment background type of thinking. That has to be in place, but running a successful multi-family office is so much more than financial return. We focus on five pillars: 1. Setting an ambition & direction, 2. Professionalizing governance & ownership, 3. Enhancing the value of existing business, 4. Finding new investment opportunities and 5. Defining & fostering the family’s DNA. We help them answer ‘where are we going and why?’, look at how ownership is distributed, and then explore how we can enhance value in the existing operations. We work with families who are active owners of businesses, as we think the real purpose and value lie in that space and enjoy working with the families to develop it. This is about finding common projects, interests, and ideas that contribute to the strong bonds within a family making the multi-family office the best place to keep their share of the assets.

Tell us a bit more about what differentiates you from other Family Offices.

Prior to working with families, our co-founder Sigurd had a background in management consulting. We bring that kind of strategic thinking and a focus on both hard and soft values into our work, aiming to take our clients beyond the typical wealth management.
It takes more than a return on investment to keep a family together. It’s as much about the energy that will take them into the future, as the family history and traditions. We want to figure out how families not only work together but stay together. To achieve this it’s important to take a holistic approach, focusing on the big picture and the long-term.

What is your perspective on next-generation involvement?

We’re a catalyst for facilitating a cross-generation conversation, which is a part of the work we really enjoy. In some families, the older generations have this perception that the younger generations can’t take over unless they’re gone through years of a particular program or training. They don’t see the value of involving them in strategic discussions. But it’s really a gift if they want to be involved. Change is happening faster than ever before. Next-generation perspectives are important on so many levels. In third or fourth generation families, we see that these discussions can be more dynamic as there can be a 15-year gap between members of the same generation. Looking at the business operations from all angles is crucial.

Tell us a bit more about how you approach your client relationships.

We take a boutique approach when working with our clients. We sit on the board to make sure we have ongoing engagement. But it’s important for us to be independent of other suppliers because it means their success is truly our success. We’ve started small working with a handful of families with plans to scale it. It’s also incredibly important we mirror our clients in terms of diversity and the scope of our work – we should be representative of the families we are working with.

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