January 7, 2020

Family office selection

When it comes to selecting investment funds, most investors would undertake a thorough due diligence process. This practice is widely accepted and no one would invest in a fund without performing such due diligence.

What is it like when it comes to family office selection. Entities like the US’ family office association (https://familyoffices.com/) publish a checklist to operate and control single-family offices. Entities like Agreus discuss how to hire staff for family offices. But when one rather opts in for a multi-family office, what kind of checklist does this person have?

On the other hand, virtual and multi-family offices are more than shared resources among asset owners. They may offer different services and remain an external entity with its own commercial interests, unlike single-family offices. Yes, they do help lower the costs of accessing such family office services. Still, it is an outsourced solution thus subject to the agency problem challenges. Surprisingly, there is not much material to guide individuals in picking the right family office service. Some banks could offer family office recommendation services like UBP’s FOSS. Still, why and how such or such is recommended. So, to try and fix this, we offer a questionnaire approach that replicates institutional investment due diligence. Indeed, choosing a family office provider is an investment per se. Therefore, we used JB’s experience in selecting investment managers to devise a family office due diligence questionnaire. Yes, it is thorough but it provides indications as to key elements one has to pay attention to. In fact, this questionnaire can also be applied to selecting wealth managers or private banks. In case this diligent exercise seems cumbersome, one of our independent experts could assist you with it.

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