What is a Family Office?

what is a family office definition

Our answer on the question: easily speaking, a family office is an investment firm which is taking care of the wealth of one or more families. If only one family is involved, we speak of a so called “single family office” (SFO), multiple families bundle their activities in a “multi family office” (MFO) . Multi family offices are also often founded by third-parties with a focus on HNWI clans.

For families with a wealth of at least a two or three digit amount of million euros, it makes sense to pursue tailored investment strategies through FOs, because the focus is on continuity, steady payouts and value preservation. Another key point of having a family office is an increased degree of secrecy.

The setup and size of the family office often depends on the assets under management. FOs which control a billion-dollar fortune are often fully-fledged investment firms with different departments and a wide range of investment opportunities. The managing partners and investment managers are often coming from prestigious U.S. universities like Harvard or Yale. Smaller family investment groups are sometimes simply managed as a sideline of a family member.

Picture source: Marc Marchal

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