Family offices have moved into the spotlight in recent years, leading many enterprising families of all shapes and sizes to consider setting up their own offices. This momentum has been fueled by several factors, including the transfer of wealth as new generations take up the reins of family enterprises, the rise of a new class of wealth owners, and the growth of wealthy families in Asia. At the same time, the demand for more professional and formal family offices has intensified because of the increasing complexity of the family-ownership-business ecosystem.
If done right, the family office can play a critical role in ensuring long-term success and unity of the family. As such, an increasing number of families are looking to build cohesive enterprise systems and proactively carry out generational succession planning to enhance the sustainability and success of their businesses and investments over time.
The world of family offices needs careful and informed navigation. While there is a lot of information, research, and guidance out there, practical advice is often not readily available. This has created an imbalanced playing field that makes it hard for families to make informed choices and increases dependency on external experts who might not have the right incentives in place to deliver optimal results.
Our day-to-day work with families has revealed a knowledge gap that needs to be bridged as more and more families look to create or develop their own offices. Building on decades of experience working with families from across the globe, both as advisors and as researchers, we aim at demystifying the family office and break it down into simple, straightforward steps which anyone in your family can participate in and contribute to.
Building on the experience of our successful collaboration between the Family Business Network (FBN) and IMD for the 2019-2020 project on family philanthropy – which resulted in the publication of the award-winning book Family Philanthropy Navigator, and the research report on family philanthropy – we feel like it is time to demystify the world of family offices.
FBN and IMD have joined forces on Navigating your Family Office - Across Generations, an international project on family offices. This research project is headed by Prof Dr Peter Vogel, director of the Global Family Business Center at IMD Business School in Lausanne Switzerland.
The aim of the study is to:
- Demystify the family office and understand the trends shaping its role.
- Identify different family office patterns.
- Help novice and experienced families professionalize their family office activities.
We invite the principal family, and possibly also the CEO/CIO, to an informal discussion, during which we will explore key questions surrounding your family office, including its purpose, (why and what), how you manage the relationships within and beyond the family (who), and how you organize your family office (how). This should happen in May or June via phone or video conference and should take around 45 minutes.
By participating in this research project, you and your family will not only improve your understanding of your own family office activities, but also enable you to benchmark yourself with other families and learn about ways to professionalize your activities to increase your impact. All your answers will be kept strictly confidential and be processed anonymously.
As a thank you for your participation, we will share with you a report presenting our findings. The results of the project will also be presented at a series of webinars customized to the specific environment of a region, offering an insightful and interactive learning opportunity. You will also get access to a special offer to participate in IMD’s Leading your Family Office course.
Please contact us to schedule a call. We are looking forward to speaking with you soon.
Discover Family Philanthropy Navigator, the first book in the series of Family Enterprises by Peter Vogel.