The FOX Family Office Design Workshop

2017 FOX Family Office Design Workshop

View the 2018 Workshop, June 12-13 in Chicago, here. 

Developing and Improving Your Family Office

Families and executives who are thinking about being more strategic and professionalizing their family office want to do it right. They want to know what steps to take, when to take them, and how to avoid costly mistakes and setbacks. Many can’t see down the road or know what component pieces will be needed to devise a family office and family enterprise strategy. The workshop will greatly help.

University of Chicago Gleacher Center
450 North Cityfront Plaza
Chicago, IL 60611

Recommended for: Wealth Owners and family office executives considering developing and improving their family office.

Watch: What to Expect at the Family Office Design Workshop

  • About
  • Agenda
  • Speakers
  • Accommodations

Drawing on almost 30 years of experience and using our proprietary Family Office Blueprint™ process, FOX presents the Family Office Design Workshop designed for families thinking about developing and improving their family office.

This comprehensive, two-day workshop addresses issues – strategic and tactical - that family members and family office executives need to understand:

  1. Family office (and family enterprise) strategy
  2. Oversight of the family office
  3. Family office structures
  4. Scope of services and delivery
  5. Costs of the family office
  6. Talent and team structure
  7. Technology and data security
  8. Performance metrics and best practices
  9. Family office planning steps

The workshop includes the sharing of FOX proprietary concepts, practical solutions, and incorporates brand new data from our 2017 family office benchmarking survey. The program will be interactive, including presentations and discussion by senior facilitators and networking with your peers.

Family members and family office executives are encouraged to attend. We look forward to seeing you and your peers on November 14-15 in Chicago for this intimate workshop.

REFUND POLICY: For event registrations, refunds of payments will be offered if the cancellation is made in writing to Family Office Exchange at five (5) or more business days prior to the start of the event. For more information regarding administrative policies please contact FOX office at: 312.327.1200.

Field of Study: Finance - Up to 9 CPE credits can be earned by attending this event. CPE credits are accepted at the option of state certifying boards. Requirements, compliance procedures and acceptance may vary by state.
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this program, participants will gain an understanding of the steps required, and mistakes to avoid, when developing an effective family office and family enterprise strategy. Additional program objectives include: insights regarding oversight of the family office, family office structures, services scope and delivery, costs of the family office, talent and team structure, technology and data security, performance metrics and best practices, and family office planning steps.
Program Level: Overview | No prerequisites are required for any of the sessions. | Delivery Method: Group Live Program

Family Office Exchange is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

8:00am Breakfast and Registration
9:00am Welcome and Introductions

Family Office Introduction

This session introduces building blocks and sophisticated dimensions of the family office
and the family enterprise. Key issues such
as reasons to form and maintain an office,
establishment of office goals and their
alignment with the family’s needs, attributes of multi-generational and holistic wealth management, roles of family members and the office, and evolution of the office, will be examined.

Questions & Answers


Oversight of the Family Office

Effective governance structures and decision-making processes help guide the family office. That said, the session necessarily offers an understanding of governance in a family office and family enterprise setting, including key elements such as vision, leadership, decision-making, and types of oversight structures. The degree of formality and evolution of that governance over different generations will be examined.

Questions & Answers

12:30pm Luncheon

Family Office Structures

An expert will present and discuss the attributes, including pros and cons of various ownership, legal structures, regulatory and tax considerations, that can impact the family office. The session will also examine employee contracts, checks and balances in the office, and other internal compliance practices.

Questions & Answers


Scope of Services and Delivery

Services provided by family offices are, by definition, customized and integrated to meet the technical needs of managing a family’s wealth (tax, investment, recordkeeping, etc.). But also help support the family to enhance family meetings, educate the next generation, among other benefits. The scope of the “modern” family office’s services and their delivery, including strategies for insourcing vs. outsourcing, will be examined.

Questions & Answers

4:30pm Adjourn
6:30pm Cocktail Reception & Dinner

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

8:00am Breakfast
9:00am Insights from Day One

Costs of the Family Office

Leveraging the insights from the FOX 2017 Family Office Benchmarking™ survey, FOX experts will present data and concepts about family office (and total wealth management) costs and outline common allocation methods and fee structures. The important relationship between cost
and complexity will be explained as well as techniques for weighing cost vs. value.

Questions & Answers


Talent and Team Structure

The skill set and integrity of the family office staff have the greatest impact on the office’s success. In this session, we will examine the roles and responsibilities of key staff members, organizational structures, mapping staff and key skills to services, coordination and oversight of third party advisors, and compensation and benefits strategies.

Questions & Answers

12:30pm Luncheon

Technology and Data Security

The family office is the primary source of consolidated financial information. This session addresses the integration challenge inherent in consolidating data from multiple sources and identifies appropriate technology architecture and solutions. Better reporting means better decisionmaking. In addition, solutions to enhance
family communications and relations and cohesion as well confidentiality and data security will be examined.

Questions & Answers


Performance Metrics and Best Practices

The establishment of benchmarks and matching these to family and family office goals is critical. What are the subjective and objective measurements that are used in family offices? The session will explore the issue and how to implement and monitor metrics. Best practices, also as part of the professionalization of the office, will be discussed.

Questions & Answers


Wrap Up: Next Steps in the Design Process

The program sets forth helpful planning tips and templates that outline critical steps in the family office design and improvement process.

4:30pm Adjourn




  Rob Mallernee
  Chief Executive Officer, Eton Advisors

Rob has more than 30 years of experience in advising closely held businesses, senior corporate executives, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and wealthy families by building comprehensive, multi-generational investment, financial, and estate plans. Prior to co-founding Eton Advisors, he served as head of the UBS Multi-Family Office Group. Earlier in his career, Rob served as a founding principal of the US Trust Multi-Family Office, and before that, as head of the Private Asset Management Group at NC Trust Company, which was sold to US Trust in 1999.

Rob began his career at Arthur Andersen and Price Waterhouse in North Carolina and Chicago, where he was a Senior Tax Manager. His experience is particularly deep in estate and income tax planning, investment advisory services, and complex governance and succession issues. Rob co-teaches a graduate-level course Personal Investing & Wealth Management at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst. Rob holds an MBA in International Business & Finance from the University of Chicago, and a BS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  Susan Gell Meyers
  Partner, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

Susan Gell Meyers is a partner with the law firm of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP and serves as Chair of the firm’s Trusts & Estates Group.  She concentrates her practice on estate planning and succession planning for high-net worth families and family-owned businesses. She facilitates multigenerational family meetings, creates family constitutions and governance plans for families and their businesses, and implements a variety of sophisticated techniques to accomplish tax free wealth transfers. Susie is a frequent presenter on the topics of estate and succession planning and is a former board member of Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises.

Susie is listed in Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyers for trusts and estates and family business law.  She was ranked Band 1, Private Wealth Law - Michigan by Chambers High Net Worth Guide in 2016, named 2016 Lawyer of the Year for closely held companies and family business law in Grand Rapids, Michigan by Best Lawyers in America, and named a Top 25 Women by Michigan Super Lawyers.

  Tania Neild
  CEO, InfoGrate, Inc.

Dr. Tania Neild is the CEO of InfoGrate, Inc., a technology firm specializing in developing and implementing IT solutions for investment firms and family offices.  Dr. Neild has led dozens of complex engagements spanning data integration, operations, performance reporting, security, infrastructure/cloud management, and application selection, including GL, CRM, and portfolio management systems.

With over 25 years of academic and applied research in systems integration, Dr. Neild began her career with the National Security Agency, which funded her doctoral research in heterogeneous database integration. She earned a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Northwestern University and a B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Sciences from Emory University.

  Jane Flanagan
  Managing Director, Family Office Exchange

As a Managing Director with Family Office Exchange (FOX), Jane serves as Second Chair for the FOX Owner Operator and FOX Financial Executive Councils and works as a developer, writer and editor of FOX white papers and Guides.

Jane has been with the firm since 1993 and has served in a number of roles providing value to FOX members, including Director of Family Office Research, Director of Membership, and as a Senior Consultant to family offices and financial institutions on the wealth management process and family office operations.

Jane managed the firm’s annual FOX Family Office Benchmarking™ research studies for several years and coauthored many FOX publications including: The FOX Guide to the Professional Family Office, 50 Best Practices for an Enduring Family Enterprise, and Financial Reporting in the Family Office. She is a member of the 100-Year Families Research Team led by Dennis Jaffe and contributor to Good Fortune: Building a Hundred Year Family Enterprise. She develops content for FOX learning events, including the FOX Family Office Design Workshop and the FOX Family Enterprise Workshop and serves as a content resource for the Membership and Consulting Teams at FOX.

Prior to her tenure with FOX, Jane was a Relationship Manager on the global custody Foundation and Endowment Team at The Northern Trust Company. She received a B.A. in Political Science from St. Norbert College.

  Charles B. Grace, III
  Managing Director, Family Office Exchange

Charles B. Grace, III is Managing Director at Family Office Exchange (FOX). He works on projects for families and family offices. Assignments include work on strategic planning, family office and family enterprise design, governance, development of investment programs, advisor selection, among others. Charlie is also active on the family office and advisor membership and research side at FOX, including investment focused studies and other initiatives.

Charlie has been active for 20 years in the family office community advising high net worth families and serving as a resource to high net worth families and family offices. He advised on investment portfolios and wealth management generally for 10 years working day-to-day at the multifamily office Ashbridge Investment Management LLC and the single family office Ashbridge, LLC. His responsibilities included client relationships, business development, and membership on the firm’s investment committee, as well as business operations and firm strategy as Chairman of the Management Committee of the $1 billion investment advisory firm. He still serves on the Board of the single family office Ashbridge, LLC. Charlie has been quoted in various publications on the subject of private wealth management, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and New York Times and presented at many conferences focused on private investors and family offices.

Charlie is on the Executive Committee, as well as Treasurer and Investment Committee member, of the nonprofit Tuttle Fund, Inc. He graduated from the Washington College of Law with a J.D. He received a B.A. and M.A. in history from Bates College and the American University, respectively.

  Sara Hamilton
  Founder and CEO, Family Office Exchange

Sara Hamilton is the Founder and CEO of Family Office Exchange (FOX), the definitive source of information and best practices associated with the business of managing family wealth across generations. Sara launched FOX in 1989 and has since grown its network to over 490 globally-minded family enterprises and their advisors, based in over 20 countries.

Sara is the coauthor of Family Legacy and Leadership: Preserving True Family Wealth in Challenging Times. She also serves on the executive education faculty for the University Of Chicago Booth School of Business and teaches the course on private wealth management.

Sara was recently named one of the Top 50 Women in Wealth Management by PAM and was honored with this award for three years running by Wealth Manager. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Wealth Management and Trusts and Estates Magazine.



The Workshop will take place at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center in Chicago, IL. For a map of the Gleacher Center and to locate surrounding hotels, please click here.

Nearby Accommodations:

Rates current as of August 2, 2017

.2 miles from the Gleacher Center
Loews Chicago Hotel, current rate $209
Sheraton Grand Chicago, current rate $264

.3 miles from the Gleacher Center
Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, current rate $242
Swissôtel Chicago, current rate $269