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Every Family Needs a Family Office

As the complexity of the family grows, so does the need for additional advisors to maintain a functioning and thriving household.

Initially, this begins with the utilization of an accountant to prepare and file taxes and an investment advisor to manage assets. As the family evolves and needs become more complex, the demand for estate planning exists to identify potential guardians for minor children or pass along wealth as the family transitions from one generation to the next.

As wealth accumulates, the advantages of additional expertise become apparent. Here is where a third-party family office or, more appropriately, a multi-family office adds significant value. A multi-family office with the breadth and experience of serving the needs of high-net-worth families brings to bear the expertise and resources to address any challenge that may arise.

A multi-family office is innovative and proactive. It ensures families have adequate insurance for tangible assets like aircraft, automobiles, collectibles, and sufficient liability insurance to support their lifestyle. In addition, it plans for generational wealth transfer, education of children and grandchildren, and carrying out philanthropic wishes, all while minimizing transfer taxes.

Unlike a traditional financial advisor, a multi-family office analyzes cash flow, pays household expenses, builds efficiencies among a family’s advisors, all while giving families back their personal time. A multi-family office can offer a “hybrid architecture” of available investment expertise utilizing the best-in-house portfolio advisors with access to the best outside investment managers to maximize after-tax, after-fee return. It can hold and manage concentrated positions as well as real estate. A multi-family office operates exclusively in the profession of wealth management, providing advice and counsel horizontally across the disciplines of investment management, real estate, oil & gas and alternatives, fiduciary services, and philanthropic services.

A successful multi-family office proactively engages its families and their circle of advisors to address issues before they become problems. Such a multi-family office will utilize all available mediums to maintain regular and ongoing connections with their clients. Through these opportunities of regular interaction, changes in circumstances – both internal and external – are shared, and plans to address those changes are developed and executed.

A multi-family office that has professionals with the experience and commitment to unparalleled customer service provides a real difference in the lives of families. A meaningful multi-family office is one that proactively identifies potential challenges and offers counsel to address them. Sometimes it’s in all of the aforementioned tangible ways; other times it is that kind word or helping hand that makes all the difference. Whittier Trust focuses on the life balance sheet; where it begins with the money, it always ends with the Family. We often hear our clients say, “you treat me like I’m the only client you have,” or “we consider you part of our family.”

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