• Bruderman & Company

What Are the Different Types of Family Offices?

Are you looking to find someone who knows everything about family owned investment banking? Also known as family offices, these private wealth management advisory firms exist to cater to the needs of ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) investors with over $100 million in investable assets. Let’s dive in and explore the unique characteristics of each type of family office.

Different Types of Family Offices

The Personal Assistant

In some cases, a family office can offer PA service at their client’s beck and call. In such situations, they serve as a Personal Assistant who helps the family with their day-to-day needs, including:

  • Walking the dog

  • Arranging flights

  • Drafting letters

The Lifestyle Manager

While PA service is essentially a convenience, some families prefer a more proactive service to meet their complex needs. These clients are looking to find a family office that functions as a lifestyle manager to monitor issues such as:

  • Insurance placement across their assets

  • Household staff management

  • Liaising supported charities

The Financial Affairs Office

Some affluent families require more than just a Personal Assistant or a Lifestyle Manager. They need someone who can help them manage their daily financial affairs including paying bills, paying their household staff, and placing fixed deposits. The person who manages their day-to-day cash needs is often a bookkeeper or an accountant who’s also working in the client’s company.

The Family Investment Office

This type of family office is usually comprised of investment professionals whose main reason for existence is to achieve the family’s required return on investment after investing wealth that sits outside of their personal assets. The family investment office can have a hedge fund focus, a listed equities focus, and a property focus. Moreover, this type of office lives or dies by their own investment performance and is usually paid based on investment performance or the assets they manage.

The Family Business Office

The family office can also assume the role of being the family’s eyes and ears in their directly owned companies. If such is the case, the family office functions as the head office that ensures good corporate governance. Those who are working in this kind of family business may sit as directors on the disparate business that the client may have invested in.

The Administrative Family Office

A client of a fiduciary services firm or bank may establish complex structures to ensure proper management of their personal and financial affairs. The family office can assign a dedicated team to assume the responsibility of managing these structures on a full-time basis. The team’s sole purpose is to effectively manage the trusts and companies within the structure.

The Adviser Family Office

The trusted adviser family office has already established a deep relationship with the client. In most cases, this office views the family’s personal and financial situation the same way that the family’s matriarch or patriarch does. In such cases, this office may be involved in:

  • Liquidity forecasting

  • Wealth planning

  • Tax planning

  • The transmission of wealth between generations

  • The allocation of assets

he Full-Service Family Office

A full-service family office assumes the responsibilities of each type of office mentioned above. For this reason, someone who offers these services must showcase deep and broad skills that are needed for these various types of services including:

  • The management of personal assets

  • Bill payments

  • Lifestyle needs management

  • And more


At 1879 Advisors, we’re here to help you create long-term investment portfolios that are customized according to your specific circumstances. Contact us today to schedule your free portfolio evaluation!

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