Our History

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.

FOX 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. Some aspects of FOX have been imitated by other organizations, but none have been as innovative or comprehensive as FOX.

30 Years of FOX  [click to enlarge]

30 Years of FOX - Click to Enlarge Timeline

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)
  • 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 Educational Webinars (2003)
  • Thought Leader Research series (2003)
  • Peer Council for family office chief executives (2003)
  • Online library of templates and document shared by members (2003)
  • Annual forum for family office financial executives (2004)
  • Peer council for family office financial executives (2004)
  • Global Family Council (2005)
  • Thought Leaders Risk Study (2005)
  • Peer Council for CEOs of Multi-Family Offices (2006)
  • FOX Research Department formalized(2006)
  • Family Office Benchmarking study 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)
  • Online Knowledge Center and event registration site (2012)
  • FOX Guide to Family Education (2012)
  • Taking the Long-Term View of the Family Enterprise (2014)
  • Engaging the Client of the Future about Millennials (2014)
  • FOX Networks, focusing on Human Resources and Private Trust Companies (2014)
  • FOX Technology in the Family Office: Navigating New Solutions (2015)
  • FOX Networks added for Technology Operations and Data Security and Investing (2016)
  • FOX Global Owners Forum (2015)
  • FOX Client Experience Council (2016)
  • Spring and Autumn FOX Global Investment Forums (2016)
  • FOX Direct Investing Network (2017)
  • FOX Foresight magazine highlighting the learning of FOX subject-matter experts in the past year(2018)
  • FOX Rising Gen launched (2018)
  • FOX Family Learning Network (2018)