By Bill Humphreys, Eureka Financial
We are often asked the question “How do you create a successful family office?”
This is a complex, multi-dimensional issue that cannot be fully addressed or “solved” in a short article but I will outline some of the key considerations.
Defining family success and values
First of all it is important for the family and their advisors to have a clear idea of what “success” means to the family. Our clients have given us the following reasons for establishing their Family Office:
- “Control” of Family Wealth
- Optimising the purchasing power of the family
- Coordination of wealth management
- Creating customised wealth management solutions for the family
- Family harmony and unity
- Maintaining family values and “legacy”
The evolution towards a Family Office structure
Family Office means different things to different families and in many cases it develops by “accident” often as an extension of the family business(es) or when a significant “liquidity event” (like the sale of a family business) takes place. As a result of this evolution we see many situations where the Family Office does not have clearly defined objectives and no real way to either define or measure success.
Whether the Family Office is new or has been established for many years it is essential that “success” is clearly defined and then measured. Generally speaking this will be covered in a “Mission Statement” and then backed up by a Business Plan that will define how “success” will be achieved.
Assessing and recognising necessary skills
Many families (especially entrepreneurial families) may prefer the “do it yourself” approach where the family itself controls and manages the family wealth. Indeed many families that we have worked with include “talent development” within the family as one of its key objectives to ensure that future generations are fully “engaged”.
This is a very noble objective but it is also essential that the family recognise the complexity of family office management and recognise where the necessary skills may not be available within the family. In these cases it is important that the family engage professionals in the appropriate disciplines to support the family. In these circumstances it is critical that the family develops the competencies to select, manage and coordinate professional advisors across disciplines (lawyers, accountants, bankers, investment managers, trustees etc) and, for many wealthy families, cross border.
The above considerations will then drive how /where the Family Office is structured and managed to deliver the “success” that the family is looking for.
Family Office Training
If you want to learn more about the successful strategies for setting up and managing family office attend Family Office course in London organised by Eureka Financial where Bill Humphreys explores the best strategies for preserving family wealth and managing a modern family office.
Eureka Financial also offers consulting services to families and family offices. Contact us for more details.
Eureka Financial offers over 200 public and in-house training courses in banking and finance, corporate finance and M&A, risk management, operations, investments, wealth management, soft skills and management. For more details visit: www.eurekafinancial.com