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The beauty of a Single Family Office is that you can tailor it to your specific needs whereas the beauty of a Multi-Family Office is that you can benefit from those services immediately and usually at a much lower cost, instead of waiting for it to be set up. So what do you do? To determine what kind of Family Office you may require, and essentially to see if it is necessary to have one in the first place, this article outlines the pros and cons of both Single and Multi-Family Offices to try and help families make a more informed decision.
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The focus of this year’s report is on a distinctive arm of the private wealth industry, the single-family office, whose major defining characteristic is that all of its “clients” are members of the same family.
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The label of “family office” seems to be appearing more frequently, but how can you tell if what you are looking at is really a family office or just a private bank in disguise? While there is no set definition, this article outlines some of the key distinguishing characteristics of true family offices.
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Many multigenerational families of wealth find themselves re-revaluating the future of their single-family offices (SFO). As families grow, complexity increases exponentially. New generations have different needs and make different demands. These can be difficult to fund and scale in an SFO model. In the past decade many families have questioned the benefits and financial efficacy of the SFO model as they move toward hybrid models or entirely different service delivery options, especially the multi-family office model.
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The New Standard of Family Office Service

Hannah Shaw Grove (HSGrove LLC)

Wealth holders are moving to family offices for better service. They make the move because they want more responsiveness from their service professionals, and they are looking for more customized solutions and fewer transaction-like interactions. They want that integrated consultative support that allows them to believe their provider is thinking about the management of their financial affairs as a whole. They want to engage with providers who bring technical expertise and proficiency to the table without pushing products. They want to work with people and organizations that can harness extensive expertise on their behalf. In essence, they are looking for someone who is going to call them back and talk to them within a framework that is meaningful to them on a timeline that works best for them.
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Traditionally, whether acknowledged or not, a focus of international wealth management has been to use bank secrecy laws for the purpose of tax avoidance. An unstoppable trend toward greater global transparency, however, is rendering this model obsolete. International wealth managers who fail to adapt will not survive.
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Family offices gather the talents of financial, tax and legal professionals under one roof. Here’s how to know if you should trust them with your money.
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The family office industry continues to evolve to meet the needs of global families of wealth. In this Wealth-X article they cover the five “C” trends shaping the family office industry in 2015. The trends are as follows:

  1. Creation of more family offices
  2. Consolidation of older SFOs
  3. Confusion in the industry
  4. Certification desires
  5. Cross-country alliances

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When set up properly, a family office (FO) can be a powerful tool to meet the financial needs of the wealthy. It can deliver customized services in such areas as investment, tax, estates, trusts, and lifestyle management. Given sufficient scale and expertise, an FO can also access lower investment fees, provide greater customization than that of many banks and wealth managers, and make direct investments into private equity and hard assets.
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