A family office is a specialized entity that independently manages the wealth of an affluent family with a long-term perspective, separate from banks. This can be achieved by consolidating all assets into a distinct company or partnership. Alternatively, the family members may retain legal ownership of the individual assets, but delegate the management responsibility to a professional service provider.
Numerous wealthy families and family-owned businesses have acknowledged the benefits of a family office. Unlike a “traditional” asset manager, the assets remain entirely under the family's control. Moreover, the costs associated with managing the assets are frequently lower, with no hidden charges. The sole objective of a family office is to cater to the family's requirements.
The services offered by a family office are tailored to the family's needs. If the assets span several classes, this is a strong indication that consolidating them under a family office is a prudent move. Asset management is independent from individual service providers such as banks, securities advisors, and house managers, and is instead centralized under a single “umbrella manager”. This manager can provide the family or asset owners with an independent overview of results (accounting, controlling, reporting) regardless of the individual service providers and asset types.
In addition to managing assets, a family office can:
- Facilitate result distribution and communication,
- Prevent or resolve family disputes,
- Offer legal and tax advisory services,
- Handle travel management, personal security, and much more.
Just as every family and their needs are unique, so too can the services of a family office be customized.
Family office structures can be effective even for smaller assets starting at approximately EUR 5 million. However, the larger the assets, the more advantageous a family office becomes. A “traditional” full-service family office is typically associated with assets under management of more than EUR 100 million. Multi-family offices, which serve multiple wealthy families, are also a common occurrence.
Our consultation services offer many essential components for family offices (already in operation) in their daily activities, particularly:
- Continuous tax and legal advice to the family office and family members,
- Guidance in asset management, especially tax and legal advice related to current investments and asset acquisitions, such as real estate,
- Formation of (family) holdings, particularly family foundations or charitable foundations,
- Restructuring of existing companies with a focus on succession planning,
- Implementation of advisory and supervisory board structures,
- Execution of family governance,
- Assistance with due diligence,
- Training of family office personnel, management members, supervisory or advisory board members, and family members
Initially, we meticulously analyze your asset portfolio from both legal and tax perspectives. Following this, we deliberate the potential structures with you and summarize the findings. This process equips you with the ability to solicit proposals from an array of asset managers, either independently or with our assistance. Based on the proposals, the economic and organizational framework data are combined with the tax and legal results and a final decision is made on the structure and the service provider.
Are you seeking expert guidance on the subject of family offices? Do you require legal and tax counsel related to your current investments? Are you contemplating the establishment of family or charitable foundations? Or perhaps you are considering the implementation of family governance?
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