Navigating the Complex: The Value of Hiring a Family Office

June 28, 2024
3 Min read

Finding the best partner to manage and grow your family’s wealth can feel like a daunting task. With so many services, advisors, and strategies claiming to offer the smartest approach, it can be difficult to determine who you can trust to serve your best interests over the long term.

Specifically for families who have substantial assets and net worth, ranging from $20 million to $50+ million, the question often becomes: do we need a family office?

What is a Family Office?

A family office is an organization that exclusively serves the wealth management needs of one wealthy family. Families best suited for a family office typically possess multi-generational wealth and have complex financial affairs. They seek to simplify their asset management and prepare future generations for the responsibilities that come with significant wealth.

A single-family office can provide a family with a highly customized approach to overseeing their financial affairs over the long term. When built to serve one family, it offers the benefits of full customization, privacy, and control. However, it can be expensive and time-consuming to establish and maintain.
Alternatively, hiring a multi-family office can leverage resources and expertise across two or more families. This allows families to have access to services that might otherwise be cost-prohibitive or challenging to manage individually. Like a single-family office, the right multi-family office partner can provide continuity and succession planning for future generations.

Not all families may need or prefer the services of a family office. Some families may have simpler needs, prefer to manage their affairs independently, or have an established network of professionals they trust. In these cases, family office teams or traditional wealth managers could provide a suitable approach, though they may not offer the same level of quality, integration, or customization as a family office.

Hiring a Multi-Family Office

The biggest benefit to a multi-family office is usually the depth of its resources. They can offer services such as investment management and estate planning to philanthropy and family governance. The right fit will depend on the specific services offered and how well they are executed.

At Tolleson, for example, we operate as a comprehensive multi-family office, offering a wide range of in-house services to control the quality of processes and systems. This model allows for deep collaboration on issues critical to clients. As a private and family-run business, goals are not driven by gathering assets or sales incentives. This, in our opinion, promotes a better experience for the client overall.

When considering a multi-family office, it’s important to recognize they are not all created equal. Many firms use the term “multi-family office” when describing their offerings but often lean more towards a specialty area such as investment management or philanthropy. Firms may also be constrained by the limited scope of their teams, driven by sales goals, or – in the case of public companies – beholden to shareholders. Look for a partner who shares your values and long-term goals.

The Value of Execution and Consistency

One of the distinguishing features of a comprehensive multi-family office like Tolleson is the emphasis on the execution of plans. It’s not uncommon for families to invest time and resources into developing estate plans, only to have them sit unused. The right family office solution will help ensure these plans are revisited, maintained, and executed consistently, which is crucial for long-term success.

Engaging a multi-family office is akin to hiring a general contractor for your wealth management needs. It simplifies the process, ensures all aspects of your financial affairs are coordinated, and provides peace of mind that your legacy is being managed with care and expertise.

As families navigate life transitions, a partner like Tolleson can help eliminate the strain of wealth management, allowing a family to spend their time where it matters most.

Get in touch to see how Tolleson can best serve you.