Family offices are normally private firms that support wealthy families with the management, organization, and maintenance of their wealth, business, investments, and other affairs. The purpose and main tasks of the family office are to protect and preserve the family wealth for present and future generations and actively manage it in order to grow.
Range of services of the family office typically includes:
- Strategic consultancy,
- Tax planning and tax compliance,
- Financial and investment planning,
- Estate planning and succession/wealth transfer planning,
- Private banking and private trust services,
- Real estates management,
- Concierge services/lifestyle management such as art, car and wine collections, travel management and bookings, aircraft, yacht and car hire, personal security services, fashion advice and personal shopping assistance,
- Private education,
- Legal and consultancy services,
- Accounting and bookkeeping services (including budgeting, payrolls, expense management and bill paying)
- Philanthropy and charitable donations management,
- Family management services (e.g. family governance oversight, financial and investment education),
- Aircraft, yacht and car registration and management,
- Family support services (e.g. assisting with household employee selection),
- Comprehensive administrative services (including document management and recordkeeping).
It is not to say that the organization must provide for all of these services or, if they does, that they perform all of these services in-house to be considered a family office. However, the organization that truly is a family office would offer some range of these abovementioned services.
A common saying in the family office industry reads as follows: Once you’ve seen one family office, you’ve seen ONE family office. The fact is that each family office might perform different services for the family or families it serves depending on the specific needs of the families.