Family Offices the Step Handbook for Advisers second edition

Dr Linda S Spedding reviews this book containing exemplary insights on a comprehensive approach to family offices

This book provides a thorough and comprehensive approach to the internationally burgeoning area of family offices. Family offices are private firms set up to cater to the “ultra-rich” (persons holding assets worth more than 30 million USD) strata of society. These firms provide wealth management strategies and investment solutions to affluent financial business moguls and giants. With the topic of wealth management becoming increasingly relevant, the handbook provides valuable insight for advisors to have a thorough grasp not only of the meaning of the concept of a family office but also the growing trends that affect this field.

The contents enable practitioners to develop a holistic understanding that extends beyond the decisions relating to the establishment of the family office. This exposition explores topics such as discussions on selected key jurisdictions, and vital practical concerns of recruitment, technology, risk and crisis management, values, culture, succession and life cycle. This allows the readers to foster an understanding on how the family office may evolve in the face of various changes and challenges globally to maintain successful and sustainable wealth flow. The handbook brings to light upcoming trends such as the concept of the Virtual Family Office, and the selected jurisdictions are reflective of various global developments spanning Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the Gulf States, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Through the exemplary insights provided by leading experts in relevant areas of culture, communication, resilience and wellbeing, the handbook is able to offer a holistic tool for practitioners to provide informed and perceptive advice on how to conduct finances and demonstrate interdisciplinary excellence. Thereupon, the book allows for a sustainable approach that transcends current generations and highlights significant concerns given the dilemma that most family wealth only survives for three generations. Moreover, the inclusion of the discussion on the emerging global trend of philanthropy helps generate a perceptive discourse.

Apart from the availability of acutely pragmatic and effective practical strategies and guidance, this book entails a plethora of resources and conducive information on specimen family office constitutions, mission statements, structures, sample crisis management headings, wealth education and integrated risk management analyses. Not only are the potential problems that arise in the context of family offices assessed but also solutions are offered that grapple with practitioners’ frequently asked questions. Further references and citations, as well as signposts for more resources, are mentioned that equip the reader to delve deeper into future queries.

Whether using the handbook as a comprehensive overview to be read in one sitting or as an ongoing thorough resource to probe into, in my opinion this book is an excellent timely investment for those dealing with the family office, wherever they are established. I would recommend this wholeheartedly and consider that it should be in the library of all concerned families, practitioners and advisors.

DR. LINDA S. SPEDDING is an International Lawyer and Advisor.