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.”
Part Two is an exploration of privacy in the lives of the very, very rich. This part might be described as a “soft” subject: there are no facts and figures, nothing concrete, but plenty to reflect on.
This blog post is just an introduction. There will be much more to say in subsequent posts. I can’t resist the pun: it is a rich subject. Although I am a member of the 1%, as defined by the Occcupy Movement, I am not a member of the UHNW club. I have never been a member of a private club. Yes, I do have investment accounts, but I do not have the umbrella type of service known as a family office or a private bank. I live on an upper-middle-class street in a smallish home. I did go to a private school starting in 7th grade; I went to an elite college and an elite graduate school. I have deliberately kept my distance from other wealthy people. Therefore, my experience with UHNW people is nonexistent. I have a few acquaintances who could be described as living at the low end of the High Net Worth (HNW) range.
For several years in the mid-1990s I interviewed close to 100 HNW individuals, and possibly one or two UHNWs. Other than that, the information these posts will provide comes from books, newspaper reports, and articles posted on the internet.
My next post will be a primer of the various types of instruments (listed above) that provide services to UNHW individuals and families.