More than 10 years and thousands of families…
In 2004, I released my first book on family offices – Inside the Family Office: Managing the Fortunes of the Exceptionally Wealthy – which included the industry’s first primary research gathered directly from single family offices and multifamily offices about their structure, operations and goals.
As interest in the ultra-high-net-worth increased from Wall Street and the luxury goods sector, it brought attention to my work and the book, which has since become a seminal influence in family office circles and been translated into multiple languages.
My second book on the subject – The Family Office: Advising the Financial Elite – was released in 2010. Like the first, it was built around primary research conducted with families and the entities they rely on for assistance managing and optimizing their considerable wealth.
Along the way, I’ve continued to research the topics that are intrinsic to successful family office operations, while writing and speaking about those matters for larger groups. Over the past decade I’ve spoken to thousands of families and family offices about their identities, wealth, priorities, failures, concerns, investments, lifestyle and many, many other things. My practical and academic experiences with family offices are an unrivaled combination that can be drawn upon to help families answer the following questions:
- What are other families doing?
- What does a ‘typical’ family office look like?
- What are our options?
- How long will it take and how much should it cost?
- What should we do?
When A Family Needs Guidance
Planning for a Liquidity Event
Whether you have an upcoming liquidity event or it’s already behind you, one of the smartest things you can do is take the time to understand your options before taking action and making commitments that aren’t easily reversed.
I work with newly wealthy families to:
- Clarify their needs and priorities
- Understand the universe of providers and options
- Establish their requirements and standards
- Begin the planning process
- Make strategic introductions to key specialists
Managing a Leadership Transition
When the founding member of a family office is ready to step aside it creates opportunities for a new generation of leaders – who may have a different view of business issues and expense than their forebears – to make their mark on the family heritage.
I work with new family office executives to:
- Assess their existing business entities against legacy goals, the current environment and emerging needs
- Examine outsourcing options, staffing and resource requirements
- Outline competitive compensation structures and ranges
- Analyze the financial implications of proposed changes
Considering the MFO Business Model
Migrating from an SFO to a broader organization can generate new sources of revenue, spread infrastructure costs across a larger base of families and tap into the growing demand for high-end wealth management services – but it’s decision laden with complexities and commitments that should not be overlooked.
I work with family office boards and committees to:
- Evaluate the platform of services and operations infrastructure
- Identify family-related and family-specific concerns
- Understand internal costs and pricing dynamics
- Examine the competitive environment and universe
- Set expectations re: marketing, sales and business development