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What is a ‘Family Office’?

The term ‘Family Office’ may be one that you are familiar with, but you may not be completely clear as to what a Family Office does, what they are and how they operate.

Essentially this type of office exists either as an SFO (Single Family Office) or as an MFO (Multi-Family Office) and they are established to represent the business interests of an affluent family or a group of families. The Family Office operates in a private advisory and management capacity to look after their wealth, investment/business interests, Trusts, property portfolios and day to day financial and legal matters for all the family members.
The Family Office provides support and management of the family’s ongoing business interests and company ownership.
It provides a parallel, independent structure which can manage the profits received from those businesses and also play a role in family ‘governance’ and the family’s involvement with businesses going forward.

So, a Family Office is usually established where the family/families are very large and where the family wealth is very considerable. It can also be useful with managing the disparity in the different generations’ ability to manage their wealth and responsibilities.

There are a huge array of services that are provided under the umbrella of a Family Office and these services include, but are not limited to:

• Managing investment portfolios
• Monitoring and reporting on investments including investments managed by external investment management firms and private banks
• Managing bank account arrangements for family members
• Dealing with property/buildings portfolios
• Overseeing & managing all ‘non-financial’ assets such as collections of art /antiques/wine, cars, yachts, planes
• Instructing professional advisers on behalf of the family such as lawyers, accountants, wealth managers, private equity/hedge fund managers, investment advisers, insurance advisers
• Employing and managing a team of household staff such as Chefs, Security/Close Protection Staff, Chauffeurs, Housekeepers, Nannies, Personal Assistants, Tutors
• Overseeing /managing schedules regarding the family’s travel and accommodation
• Managing the family’s public and media relations interests and acting as the public face of the family with regards to business and philanthropic activities (such as foundations & charities)


Each Family Office is unique, therefore the structure of staff required is adapted to suit a family’s particular needs & wishes. Some families will want to be totally involved in the day to day running of activities and their businesses, whilst others prefer to take a back seat position and act more in a supervisory role.
In light of this, it is common for controls to be built in so that any significant decisions can only be taken with the express consent of key family members.
A key element of the success of a Family Office is having the right and best staff in place and their on-going performance. It is of course essential that the family trust the staff that are appointed and have confidence in them that they are providing the best possible service.

Integral Family Office Roles:

• Heads of Family Office: CEO, CFO, COO (the C-Suite)
• Chief of Staff/House Manager
• Family Office Assistant
• Legal Counsel/Lawyer
• Wealth Manager/Planner
• Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor/Specialist
• Private Equity/Hedge Fund Manager
• Property /Asset Portfolio Manager/Specialist
• Executive Assistant/Personal Assistant/Operations Manager
• Human Resources Specialist
• PR/Media Specialist
• Family/Corporate Chef
• Executive & Family Chauffeur
• Corporate/Personal Security
• Residential Security

Each Family Office is as unique and different as each individual family and the businesses it owns. This therefore is a general overview and glimpse into its’ structure and the specific responsibilities it holds.

Each Family Office is as unique and different as each family and the businesses it owns. This therefore is a general overview and glimpse into its’ structure and the specific responsibilities it holds.
If you would like any further advice or information regarding Family Offices, please have a look at the Eden Private Staff website: or call us on 020 7471 6000

February 14, 2024

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