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Five things to consider when setting up a Family Office structure

30 August 2021

Kanchana Boopalan

Client Director and Resident Trust Manager, Singapore

Kanchana Boopalan

Client Director and Resident Trust Manager, Singapore

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A Family Office can help protect your wealth now and for future generations. Here are the key questions before you decide on its role and structure

A Family Office structure is a bespoke service that helps give global protection to a family’s wealth and manages its assets, investments, businesses and residences from a single point of administration.

What is a Family Office structure?

Family Office structures are used by wealthy families to administer all their business affairs and investments. A single Family Office structure can manage the entirety of your family wealth, helping you make decisions that will protect it now and for future generations.

It can also ensure regular communication between family members, wherever they live and whatever their interests in the family wealth. This can be useful if large numbers of family members need to be consulted or considered. The assurance of discretion is another significant advantage.

You may have a Family Office already and want to upgrade or change it, or you may be looking to set up a Family Office structure for the first time – so what are the costs and benefits?

As a general guide, a Family Office structure could cost about 1% of the family’s total wealth.

It can look after your assets worldwide and help with decisions about the future. It can also ensure that your current investment and future planning strategies are in line with your family’s goals, beliefs and values.

What should I consider when setting up a Family Office?

A trusted partner can help you decide on the Family Office’s structure and role. That partner will provide management and advice on topics such as investment and planning.

Before you set up a Family Office, you need to define your objectives:

  • How important is confidentiality and discretion?
  • What are your current total costs? Are you getting the service you expect in return?
  • What is the best location for your Family Office? Which jurisdictions do you currently operate in?
  • Would you benefit from bringing all your administration and accounts into a single entity?

Intertrust Group can help you find answers. We work alongside existing Family Offices or create new teams across multiple generations and global locations. Our Family Office service brings together all our expertise in funds, corporate services and capital markets to navigate the complexity of private wealth for our Family Office clients.

Here are some questions to consider as you start setting up a Family Office:

1. What is the objective of your Family Office?

Before you start, it is important to define the aims of the Family Office structure and decide who will be responsible for decisions, how decision-making will take place and how it will be managed.

Specialist help may be needed if family members live in different jurisdictions with different tax implications.

2. What is the scope of your Family Office?

It is up to family members and their partners to decide the size, costs, benefits, location and scope of a new or existing Family Office. Key questions will include:

  • Do charitable foundations need to be considered?
  • Where should management of assets be based?
  • Which jurisdiction is best in terms of tax, regulation and security?

3. What is the Family Office’s role and what skills are needed?

Many affluent families already rely on professional firms for accountancy and tax services and may have legal advisers, consultants and security services working for them.

Consider what services are already in place. Are you satisfied with them? Is it appropriate to continue outsourcing some services or would it be preferable to bring them under the management of the Family Office?

4. How will future decisions about the Family Office be made?

One challenge in growing and preserving family wealth is the issue of succession, decision-making and leadership.

  • How should intergenerational differences be handled?
  • What role will different family members take?
  • How should conflicts be resolved?

5. What do you want in a partner?

At Intertrust Group we provide dependable partnership, the flexibility needed in a fast-changing world and vast experience in Family Office structures.

Starting a successful Family Office is a complex undertaking – working with Intertrust Group, you will have an experienced global partner committed to you for the long term.

Our role is to unleash the potential of your family structure by

  • Managing the family’s investments and assets
  • Creating consolidated easy-to-digest reports
  • Providing family and corporate governance for your estate
  • Advising on succession planning, philanthropy, asset management and wealth structuring You can learn more about our services here and get in touch with one of our experts today.

You can learn more about our services here and get in touch with one of our experts today.

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