Experiencing a ‘liquidity event’ in your family business i.e. selling part or all of your business, gives the option of establishing a family office.
In this episode of the show I am delighted to be joined by one of the worlds leading experts in family office, Kirby Rosplock PhD as we discuss moving from a family business to a family office.
We covered this topic in this previous episode of the show but if you haven’t listened to this, Kirby provides the following definition; “like family business, the definition is sort of in the eye of the beholder.”
“So some individuals really think of a family office as a centralising point to command and organise perhaps the investment function, the financial function, the compliance tax administration function, estate planning, wealth transfer, books and records, security, concierge services.”
“But I think the one thing I always come back to is that you are actually creating a business and oftentimes family business owners think that they’re creating something different, but in essence, they’re really creating the business of their wealth as opposed to the source that created their wealth”
Part of the decision making process on whether a family office is the next logical step is firstly to understand the types of family office that there are.
You may have heard the phrase “if you have seen one family office, you have seen one family office” and this is true. There are so many variables that can be personalised to each family that no two family offices are identical.
However, when looking at moving from a family business to a family office there are two main options;
Single Family Office – This is a completely new business that is established specifically to manage the wealth that has been created. It may well serve the needs of many different individual families, but they will all be members of the same ‘founding’ family.
Multi-Family Office – This is a commercial enterprise that offers family office services to a number of unrelated families. This may be a route that would be chosen if your family does not want to deal with everything within a single family office structure. A Multi-Family Office will combine the buying power of each of the families they serve and deliver a range of services.
These may be more suitable if the level of wealth doesn’t justify or is unable to support the cost of a single family office.
Listen to the show here:
In the show we look at the impact on family dynamics that can be bought about by moving from an operating business to a family office.
Kirby and I discuss the importance of understanding the purpose of the wealth and ensuring that a plan exists that covers a sufficient future timeframe. Given the complexity and costs of running a family office, having a clear purpose that each generation can engage with will help to ensure the it remains sustainable for the long term.
There are a number of questions that need to be asked, and answered, before establishing a family office and some of these are highlighted below:
If you are able to answer these, that is a step in the right direction, if you need help it is available to you.
If you are looking to move from a family business to a family office as a result of the sale of your operating company, it is advisable to have discussions about the future of the wealth created prior to the cheque clearing at the bank.
As with most things linked to family business, your circumstances and the personalities within your family may be unique but the challenges that you face are not unique.
Kirby is the founder of Tamarind Partners, Inc., named Best Family Office Management Consultancy and Best Family Wealth Counselling by the Family Wealth Report in 2019.
Kirby is recognised by her peers as an innovator, trusted advisor, lauded author, and world-renowned speaker in the family business and family office domains.
An entrepreneur at heart, Kirby was born into a complex enterprising family and is the founder, innovator, and driver of Tamarind Partners who knows first hand the critical needs of owners.
She is an industry thought leader, world-renowned speaker, lauded author, and trusted advisor to family owners and their family office executives and advisor.
The Complete Family Office: A Guide for Affluent Families and the Advisors Who Serve Them, 2nd Edition represents the newest update to an essential series.
This book prepares the members of wealthy families to collectively manage, sustain, and grow their wealth across multiple generations. It also assists professionals who advise families to better serve their needs.
You can buy a copy of the book here