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What Is a Family Office?

Family offices cater to wealthy individuals and families with investable assets usually worth at least $100 million. They provide a wide range of financial, legal and personal services tailored to each family’s needs, including wealth-management, charitable advice, property management, making travel arrangements, and more. 

🤔 Understanding family offices

In finance, a family office is a privately held wealth-management firm that provides specialized services to a single family or small consortium of families. You can divide this kind of office into one of three types:

  • Single-family offices (SFOs) handle the wealth and affairs of a single person or family. A family may create their own office if they have $100 million or more in investable assets. The goal of these offices is to manage dynastic wealth for multiple generations. 
  • Multi-family offices (MFOs) are more like traditional wealth-management firms in that they serve several clients. These have become more prevalent in the last few decades due to the financial advantages of economies of scale. Most MFOs require clients to have at least $20-30 million in investable assets. 
  • Outsourced family offices are comprised of a collaborative team of individually hired advisors, attorneys, CPAs, investment firms, and other specialists. Typically, these are cheaper than the other models, but they lack the control and instant coordination of a “traditional” family office. 

Each of these offices either is or operates as a corporation or LLC (limited liability company). The initial “core” capital comes from the family’s wealth, which a team of hired officers and support staff manage and grow with strategic investments. As the office’s net worth increases, the profits are deployed into new investments like private equity, hedge funds, commercial real estate, and venture capital opportunities. 

But family offices aren’t cheap – the specialized expertise required can easily cost over $1 million annually. And for the price, many family offices provide services well beyond the scope of a typical wealth or investment management firm. 

What this means for you

Since every family office serves a different family or group of families, defining their role isn’t always straightforward. Every family has different needs based on their family size, total and individual net worth, the nature of each individual’s business and personal affairs, and more.

But broadly speaking, a family office can provide the following for you:

  • Provides financial, investment, wealth-management, and charitable giving advice
  • Hires lawyers to dispense legal advice regarding taxes, real estate, and other ventures
  • Engages in estate planning to ensure the smoothest, lowest-tax-burden transition of inherited assets possible
  • Coordinates business and personal travel arrangements 
  • Makes private school arrangements for children in the family
  • Handles household arrangements such as background checks, personal security, and household and grounds staff payroll
  • Hires the expertise needed to handle immigration and lobbying ventures

Of course, not every family needs these services, and some families may need even more. But a full-fledged family office either has the staff on hand to handle these affairs or the money to contract them out. 

Disclosures

Q.ai is the trade name of Quantalytics Holdings, LLC. Q.ai, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quantalytics Holdings, LLC ("Quantalytics"). Quantalytics offers automated financial advice tools through Quantalytics Investment Advisors, LLC ("QAI"), an SEC-registered investment advisor. QIA’s investment advisory services are ONLY available only to residents of the United States. Disclosures concerning QIA’s investment advisory services are available on its Form ADV filed with the SEC. The content in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a comprehensive description of Q.ai's investment advisory services.

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