In this feature, we ask contributors from around the globe to take a look at the role of the Family Office in the world of wealth management and preservation. As well as examining the latest trends, we focus particularly on jurisdictions such as Singapore, Jersey and Bermuda and what makes them ideal hubs for the formation of a family office.
A lot of us will have had the feeling of having spent the last 20 years on a fast-paced treadmill. Life has been a constant ‘busy’. We have been fully immersed in building businesses, legacies, travelling round the world, and having little or no time to stop and take a breath. The rise of the 21st century and, in particular, the boom in technology has resulted in an increase in wealth around the world generally but it has also revolutionised the way in which we interact with the world.
Suddenly, a transaction that would have taken weeks or months can be dealt with in an instant. Communication with other jurisdictions has become possible and easy. Individuals have become completely contactable at every second of the day and life has generally developed a faster pace.
This year 2020, has seen us hit by a pandemic that has literally brought everything to a halt. Technology has now become our saving grace, allowing us to continue working and interacting but in a very different way. For the first time in a long time, we are forced to stop. Confined to our homes with only the web as a means of interacting with the outside world, we suddenly have more time to think. For a lot of people, lockdown has provided an opportunity to take stock and re-evaluate.
The forced slow down has made many re-consider their priorities in life and allowed them to take time to look at their own affairs and try to get their house in order. For many, this period will have prompted a review o…
The private client industry has seen the emergence of family offices as a global best-in-class solution for affluent families striving to achieve long-term wealth management and preservation. Family offices are arguably the fastest-growing investment vehicles in the world today, as families with substantial wealth are increasingly seeing the virtue of setting one up(i). Fuelled by the growth of ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) families, the number of family offices has dramatically increased since 2000(ii).
You may have heard the old joke, “If you have seen one family office, then you have seen one family office”.
The expression “family office” covers all forms of organisations and services providing structures for families and for managing their large private fortunes. Family offices might take the traditional form of single or multi-family office or might be a virtual or branch office. The Family Office Exchange has identified 8 types of family offices classified by the types of services they provide.[iii]
As an established private client jurisdiction, Bermuda has significant experience with the various forms that a family office can take. In a recent initiative, the Bermuda law reform committee has started crafting “The Family Office Act”, new draft legislation intended to facilitate the creation/operation of family offices, and to provide new tools that the family office can use when designing solutions for the families they serve.