Monthly Archives: February 2012

The private world of the very, very rich, Part 4: The multi-family office

I know of only two organizations that are truly “multi-family offices”: organizations that follow the same lineage as the single family-office model. (If you don’t know what a family office is, read Part 3 of this series.) This blog post continues The Inheritance Project series of organizations that serve the financial (and other) needs of Ultra High Net Worth (UNHW) families.

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The private world of the very, very rich, Part 3: Family offices

The phenomenon known as the “family office” is not widely known—most likely because family offices fly below the radar. They are very, very private. However, family offices are in increasingly important phenomenon: Joseph Reilly, president of the Greenwich, CT based Family Office Association, estimates that there are currently between 2,500 and 3,000 family offices worldwide.

The most common initial reason for starting a family office is the sale of a large business. The head of the company, as well as other family members, wants someone who can park the assets received from the sale of the business in a way that they will earn good returns. (John D. Rockefeller started the first modern family office.) Continue reading

The Private world of the very, very rich, part 2: banks and trust companies

Part One (please read the previous post) provides information on a variety of institutions, organizations, and other services created specifically to provide services to the Ultra-High Net-Worth, or UHNW (whether they are individuals, nuclear families, or extended families). These include: private banks, other banks with private-banking divisions, trust companies, offshore banks (including Swiss banks), and the low-profile, off-the-radar family offices. A more recent form of service is called the “multi-family office.”

It helps to know at least a little about each of these instruments in order to begin to understand the world of Ultra-High Net-Worth (UHNW) individuals. Continue reading

The Private world of the very, very rich: part one

This post from The Inheritance Project is the first of a series of blog posts on this subject, which has essentially two parts:

Part One provides information on a variety of institutions, organizations, and other services created specifically to provide services to the Ultra-High Net-Worth, or UHNW (whether they are individuals or nuclear families or extended families). These include: private banks, other banks with private-banking divisions, trust companies, offshore banks (including Swiss banks), and the low-profile, off-the-radar family offices. A more recent form of service is called the “multi-family office.” Continue reading