Family offices aren’t really concerned about succession right now. Instead, it’s all about returns.

Over the years, family offices have devoted more time and resources to uniting members and succession planning. But that was while interest rates were historically low, the stock market was rising, and their wealth was becoming more extreme.

Currently, the market is falling along with net worth, and family offices are primarily concerned about return on investment.

Family ties and succession planning are key factors in maintaining wealth across generations, which is why family offices exist in the first place. The mandates of these offices vary and are constantly evolving based on the needs of families, or at least the opinions of their leaders, and the market is a factor in their priorities.

When asked about the primary focus of family offices, a study by Citi Private Bank found that family offices focus on wealth (74%) at the expense of “promoting family unity and continuity” (21%). There is a further shift towards investment management (55%). Out of 268 family office clients. In 2022, family unity and continuity was the top priority for his 34% of respondents.

This result was not surprising to private banks. According to the report, “In difficult times, as we have observed during the global financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, family offices prioritize immediate needs and prioritize non-immediate but highly important priorities. “It is common for people to sacrifice themselves.”


Family offices, like other companies, value their portfolios during tough times. Some of them find that they are not very good at choosing direct investments.they again Increasing dependence on asset management companies to help them do their assignments; capitalize on opportunities.

But experts say it’s a mistake to focus only on investments.

“To me, the most valuable thing a family office can do is focus on the bigger picture and focus on the traditionally ‘soft stuff’,” said Josh Cantor, founder of Josh Cantor Wealth Advisory Services. “It’s about focusing on something called.” , assisting families in establishing family offices. “At the heart of this is fostering a culture of family meetings and understanding the human capital that surrounds the family table. Make sure you’re participating.”

“Family businesses are dynamic, ever-changing systems. The more a family office focuses on its past and conventions, the less adaptable it can become,” Kanter added.

Mark Tepsich, who consults clients on family office design and governance at UBS, paraphrases: Now they want to sit at the table and contribute. It’s not about control, they just want to be part of the family. ”

While more family offices are specializing in investment management, they are plagued by inefficiencies in other areas, particularly when it comes to leadership succession planning and next-generation education programs. Younger generations, with more of their future lives at stake, still consider family unity and leadership a higher priority. Third-generation heirs were on average nearly twice as likely to prioritize family unity and continuity (41 percent vs. 21 percent).

The tendency to focus more on family wealth creation is “less pronounced in three-generation families. Such families can survive further storms, even if others seem more urgent for now. We recognize the need to continue to address important issues. According to the Citi report, more than half of families’ top concerns include preparing the next generation to be responsible asset owners; This includes ensuring a common goal and vision for the family office, which requires the support of the family office.”

If family leaders are serious about extending their wealth over generations, they need to keep their families together.

Phil Strassler, founder of Larry Krauss Tax, said, “The only way family offices can maintain a presence is by providing the resources for people to do their own thing, and then giving what they learn back to their families.” That’s what I do.” Consultant on strategy and business practices for the Institute for Family Office and single-family offices. “Otherwise, I think people just take the money and run. They do their own thing. You have to give them freedom.”

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