Family Offices

Family offices is not a new concept.  It is one that originates to the Shang dynasty in China (approx 1600 BC).  Subsequently "gatekeepers" and "protectors of family wealth" were seen in Japan, and medieval Europe where almost private armies were formed in order to protect the family wealth.  The 
Medicis, the Bardis, the House of 
Rothschild - all started as Family Offices.

Today you will not need an army (though you might need few bodyguards), but you will need experienced banker, who is with you on the inside, who will ensure that your money is protected, safely structured, and is there to be enjoyed by you and subsequent generations.


Family Offices are an integral part of the very high net worth individuals.  Not only they enable the wealth to be successfully managed over the generations, including often to multiple and potentially diverse family members (children, grandchildren, ex wifes), but they ensure that it is protected, adequately invested and internally cared for.  In addition Family offices often take care of the non-financial needs of the family members, such as holidays, education, and contacting the families with the wide range of experts.

Often, high net worth individuals have a tendency of using the business that their quasi "family office", what can work for smaller companies, yet at times when your business empire grows you will need a one supervisory office to have a broad overview of various areas in which you are involved. 

Expert Services

 -  tax planning, and arrangement of right structures for your line of business
 -  legal advise, including  “advocatus diaboli” for family members
 -  day-to-day  management of your estates, be it arrangement of travel and holidays, private jet hire, nannies, hobbies and other elements that you so much need and often enjoy
 -  heritage of assets to next generations
 -  art dealing (outsourced)
 -  charitable activity (outsourced)
 -  advice on education (outsourced)
 -  when needed ensuring that security is in place for the houses, as well as family members (outsourced)

Side Benefits

 - ability to reduce costs, via increased powers to bargain 
 - good monitoring of expenses, including reports on possible (if needed) cost reduction plans
 - delegation of issues that are uncomfortable to deal with (legal disputes, even arrangement of schools places)

Education and Family Trust Funds

Combining the roles of the successful business owners, with that of managing the family matters is an increasingly difficult task.  Society often presents children with special challenges, which the parents, being unable to emotionally separate themselves, might not be best at managing.

It is hence often the Family Businesses that then ensure that there is a proper business education designed to the "young ones", including academic and apprentice schemes, ensuring that they quickly learn the business from the basics, and somewhat disconnecting the parents from often uneasy roles of "coping" with their children while at the same time being an example to the often young and ambitious employees in the organization.  Family Offices can assist in arranging exchanges of internships and other apprentice schemes. 

Family offices will ensure that regardless of the day to day performance of your business empire, money is set aside and conservatively invested, without the recourse to other areas of business, for the basic and needed elements like your children's education, home and other elements that you will identify as basic.

What is needed

Depending on complexity and family needs, family offices cost approximately USD 250,000 - USD1m to run, and in order to be able to fully benefit from it, you are likely to have assets in excess of USD 50m, and possibly in some diversified format, often with the complex family ownership structure.

Role of Vision Finance

Vision Finance can assist you with setting up the Family Office, with establishment of its structures, targets and costs.  Vision Finance will introduce you to wide range of experts, globally.  Vision Finance will ensure that the Family office is not just another layer in your costs, but is there to enable you to:
  - supervise your activities with limited, if required by you, your involvement
  - you are regularly provided with efficient and comprehensive reports
  - your office not only carries out your orders, but above all in a supervised manner takes controls of some functions such as costs negotiations, arrangement of discounts, etc

The supervision of your family office should be done by someone independent of your family and major business ventures (ie no dual roles), yet someone whom you trust and knows your business fairly well.  Family lawyers are often suitable candidates for these roles, especially as legal work is also a service often provided or by the Family Offices (litigations, protection or privacy laws, etc).  

Upon your decision to setup a family office, Vision Finance will first work for you, and subsequently for your Family Office, bringing in the top of the range financial expertise and latest structuring solutions.  Vision Finance will also facilitate introduction of your Family Office to wide range of experts and expert advise.

More Information

For more information please email us on

Vision Finance Private Banking Services