Starting a Family Office


What is a Family Office?

The family office is a unique family business that is created to provide tailored wealth management solutions (from investments to philanthropy) in an integrated fashion while promoting and preserving the identity and values of the family.

Some families start an office to provide economies of scale for the family by leveraging the investment buying power of the group; others want control over the process, a dedicated staff, and a way to keep family members connected. All look to the family office to provide professional, private, and conflict-free management of their affairs to increase their chances of sustaining their human and financial capital for the long term.

Family Office Best Practices 

Why do I need a family office? Many business owners come to realize that their interests are best served when management of the family’s wealth is handled separately from the family business. Boundaries that Matter: Managing the Family Assets Separately from the Family Business outlines the benefits that families gain when they establish a family office or partner with an advisor outside of the operating company. Wealth Management as a Second Family Business also outlines some of the reasons a dedicated family office may make sense for you.

The State of the Art in Family Wealth Management provides a big picture view of the work that families need to be prepared to do, where families need to focus their efforts, and how families and advisors must work together. Building Trust Within Family Enterprises describes the need for families to have an underlying capacity to trust the systems they have created to manage their assets. 

The Ten Most Common Mistakes of Family Office Investors offers the voice of experience to help those who are new to the family office environment manage wealth across generations with greater ease.  

The webinar titled Changing Stories, Resolving Conflicts: Building Resilient Family Offices discusses how family businesses and family offices both thrive when collaborative learning and stakeholder engagement remain high.

What happens in a family office? The FOX Guide to the Professional Family Office documents the complexity of today’s wealth management process and outlines the role and work of the family office. 

To better understand your alternatives when it comes to selecting the right legal structure for your family office, review the Family Office Structures: Pros, Cons and Considerations presentation and listen to the recorded webinars Corporations and Trust Companies and Partnerships – Oh My (part I and part II).

Family Office Industry Benchmarks

Most FOX member offices are small businesses that have seven or fewer employees. Investing in the Future: A Look Inside the Small Family Office provides insight about the practices used by small offices to “get it all done” with limited resources. 

The decision to start a family office is just one of the many issues that business owners face following the sale of the family business. Listen to the recorded webinar Reinvestment and Reinvention: Life after the Sale of the Family Business to learn more. 

Tools, Resources, and Samples

Where do I start? The FOX consulting team has helped dozens of families start a family office using its Family Office Blueprint™ process. 

The Shared Templates provide the family office with planning tools, sample forms, and guidelines in areas that are of interest to the family, including:

To learn more about the role of the family office in helping to preserve family legacy, review the Family Legacy and Leadership presentation.