WTOP Interview: Family Offices Are Not Just for the Super Wealthy Anymore
Shawn Anderson: Thank you for driving with us this evening. It’s 5:11 and family offices were once reserved for the super wealthy to help them manage their family’s collective money from one generation to another. Thank you for driving with us this evening. It’s 5:11 and family offices were once reserved for the super wealthy to help them manage their family’s collective money from one generation to another.
Today, many of those same services are available for busy entrepreneurs and professionals who have less wealth but want professional management of their often-complex personal finances.
Nina Mitchell: Thank you. Great to be here!
Dimitri: So explain to us what is a family office and how that concept has changed over time?
Nina: OK, while some of us think of a family office, you might think of a single-family office that manages all the wealth and the business assets of all the wealthy dynasties like the Rockefellers and the Waltons. Fast forward to today, with the growing number of successful entrepreneurs and executives and there are many families who want comprehensive wealth management and even lifestyle management under one roof. Now, as we all know, time is a valuable asset and a family office allows their busy clients to streamline their entire management process using one firm. Think of it like having a personal CFO who leads a highly skilled team on your behalf.
Shawn: What are the few of the characteristics of a multi-family office or other high touch surfaces?
Nina: Well, here are a few. First is the breadth of services. Family offices typically manage their clients’ entire financial universe and provide a wide range of services like investment management, financial and tax planning, cash management, estate planning, philanthropy, and family governs. And they also hold family meetings and help educate the next generation. Then second, they’ve got an experienced, professional team of CPAs, CFPs, lawyers, financial and investment specialists. And then third, family offices usually offer high touched services, so they tend to serve fewer clients, allowing more attention to each family and they’ve got a dedicated service team who understands family dynamics well. And it is just not uncommon, actually, family offices will offer personal services, such as bill paying, managing household staff, overseeing second homes, rental properties and even private jets.
Shawn: OK, so, in our final minute here, that’s some of the benefits we can get from a family office. How have these folks who earn and are not ultra-wealthy, but they’ve gotten these services, how have they benefited from it?
Nina: You know, even people who aren’t super wealthy may still want fully integrated wealth management services so if you are considering these services, you know, think of a time to do the research and make sure that the firm provides all the services that you want and you understand what the fee covers. And that the firm is a registered investment advisor with a clean compliance record and that, of course, you are comfortable with your advisory team personality wise because you and your wealth management team have to be a good fit for each other and you want this to be a long term and trusting relationship.
Shawn: We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you very much!
Nina: Thank you!