Our History

First in the industry

Sara Hamilton founded FOX in 1989 as a peer network for families seeking an objective financial education about passing wealth successfully to future generations.

While a trust officer at Harris Bank in Chicago in the late 1980s, Sara Hamilton witnessed the emergence of family wealth management as an industry. Hundreds of U.S. families had recently become centi-millionaires overnight through leveraged buyouts, spawning private financial offices commonly called family offices to manage family assets and educate wealth owners. It was becoming clear that wealth ownership was a complex and important family business.

Sara founded FOX in 1989 as a peer network for families seeking an objective financial education about passing wealth successfully to future generations. It would also become an industry advocate, a source of education and training for family office staff, and a platform for sharing family wealth management best practices.

 FOX Introduced the First …

  • Consulting resource focused on the needs of the family office market (1990)
  • Industry association for family offices (1990)
  • Study on master custody costs, which change industry pricing (1991)
  • Comprehensive benchmarking studies of family offices with over one hundred participants (1991)
  • Global Investment Forum, co-hosted with Chase Bank (1991)
  • “Blueprint” for designing a custom family office (1992)
  • Directory of leading wealth advisors (1993)
  • Survey of family office compensation and benefits (1994)
  • Summary of family office best practices (1996)
  • Website for family office education (1997)
  • Educational toolkit designed to prepare individuals to be responsible wealth owners (1998)
  • Global online community for financial families (2002)
  • Member Listserv for networking and quick problem-solving (2002)
  • Family Office education Webinars (2003)
  • Thought Leader Research series (2003)
  • US Family Office Executive Council (2003)
  • Member Template and Online Document sharing (2003)
  • Financial Executive Forum (2004)
  • Financial Executive Council (2004)
  • Global Family Council (2005)
  • Thought Leaders Risk Study (2005)
  • Multi-Family Office Council (2006)
  • FOX Research Department formalized(2006)
  • Family Office Benchmarking automated (2006)
  • First installment of the Wealth Advisor Enterprise series published (2007)
  • 50 Best Practices for an Enduring Family Enterprise published (2008)
  • Online Talent Bank for members to post positions (2008)
  • Global Family Benchmarking (2008)
  • Investment Council (2009)
  • Directory of Leading Wealth Advisors (2009)
  • Technology Directory (2009)
  • Private Investor Coalition founded to speak with one voice on tax and regulatory matters (2009)
  • Online Technology Guide (2010)
  • Private Trust Company and Regulatory Workshop (2010)
  • FOX Wealth Center online knowledge center and event registration site launched (2012)
  • FOX Guide to Family Education (2012)

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