Definition of multi-family offices

The world’s wealthiest individuals and families have a broad spectrum of investment specialists offering them advice and services including private banks, wealth management firms, tax advisors, hedge funds, investment companies and so on.

No institution can be best at offering advice in all investment areas, especially given the explosion and complexity of products and services available. As such, the super wealthy have family offices – professional investment firms owned by themselves that mange their own wealth.

Often the family office is manned by a small number of professionals that both manage their wealth and shop around to get the best deals from a range of private banking/ wealth management providers. A multi-family office is where a group of wealthy families get together to undertake such activity. While industry estimates vary, the general consensus is that families have to have at least $30million to $50 million of investible assets to make the set up of a family office economically viable.

Some multi-family offices actively seek to attract new family clients and even the largest private banks – such as UBS, Credit Suisse and Pictet & Cie – have family office operations – offering bespoke investment and related services to their top family clients. [1]

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