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 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 changed industry pricing patterns (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 and resumes (2008)
  • Global Family Office Benchmarking (2008)
  • Private Investor Coalition founded to speak with one voice on tax and regulatory matters (2009)
  • First 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)
  • Taking the Long-Term view of the Family Enterprise published (2014)
  • Engaging the Client of the Future published (2014)
  • Introduction of FOX Networks, focusing on important topics of daily use to FOX members (2014)
  • FOX Technology in the Family Office: Navigating New Solutions published (2015)
  • First FOX Global Owners Forum (2015)
  • FOX Client Experience Council established (2016)
  • Introduction of the Spring and Autumn FOX Global Investment Forums (2016)
  • FOX Private Investor Council founded (2016)

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