What is the difference between a Single Family Office (SFO) and a Multi Family Office (MFO)?

differences single family office sfo multi family office mfo

Our answer on the question: Single Family Offices (SFOs) are taking care of the fortune of one single family, multi family offices (MFOs) are pooling the wealth of multiple families. In most cases, multi family offices are managed by third-parties or are founded as a SFO which opens their services to other families in the course of business.

That also causes a different philosophy and team setup. SFOs are often close to the families roots (e.g. a real estate dynasty often also invests in real estate through their investment firm), while MFOs are developing an investment strategy based on the risk / return profile of their clients. Also, MFOs are often just structuring and controlling the development of wealth. The real investment decisions are taken by third-party asset managers which are determined in so called “beauty contests”.

In SFOs, the team mainly consists of high-profile ex-consultants and / or investment bankers. MFOs are often a pool of former associates of private banking divisions or other multi family offices.

Picture source: Paweł Czerwiński

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