Family Office Explained

The term ‘family office’ refers to an organisation that is focused on the preservation, management and investment of the wealth and assets of either a single family or a group of families.

Some family offices are run by the families themselves. Given the costs of operating such a structure, this is usually only found among the top tier of UHNW families. Other firms are wealth management and advisory firms that seek to attract multiple ultra-high net worth families who do not have the knowledge or time to set up their own organisation.

There are also ‘family office’ teams within banks that provide similar services, while also leveraging on the existing brand name and access to a wide product range and diverse investment capabilities. There are two main types of family offices and these are ‘Single Family Offices’ and ‘Multi Family Offices.’

Single Family Office

A Single Family Office, or SFO, manages the wealth of one family. The familial group can vary in size and the assets managed are usually accumulated over a period of time across multiple generations.

  • Baumgartner Frey Family Office
  • BHS Verwaltungs
  • Fageb Verwaltungs AG
  • Forum Family Office
  • J Stern & Co
  • Lagane Family Office
  • Mueller-Moehl Group
  • Seiler & Sala Family Office

Multi Family Office

A Multi Family Office, or MFO, manages the assets of a group of families. Usually, the investment and legacy goals of the families are aligned. The main attraction of a Multi Family Office is the shared infrastructure and operational costs.

  • ARR Family Office
  • Aall & Co Ltd
  • Adi Dassler International Family Office
  • Alto Partners
  • Atag Family Office
  • Belair House
  • Corecam Family Office
  • Donglin Family Office
  • Fusang
  • GaMFOS
  • Heritage Trust Group
  • Marcuard Heritage
  • Noetzli Mai & Partner Family Office
  • RIGI Family Office AG

What Does a Family Office Do?

Family offices offer themselves as a one-stop shop for familial wealth management. While the capabilities of each can differ, the following key areas are covered:

  • Traditional and alternative asset management
  • Wealth structuring, wealth planning and legacy planning
  • Private equity and real estate investments
  • Private placements
  • Estate planning
  • Trust and fiduciary services
  • Philanthropy
  • Business management and corporate advisory

Given the comprehensive range of services, family offices have to employ many skilled professionals, predominantly in the following areas:

  • Legal and Compliance
  • Taxation
  • Corporate Advisory
  • Operations and Execution
  • Relationship Management
  • Portfolio Management and Asset Allocation
  • Administration


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