Small Business
Business INSIGHTS e-News for Professional Services
Should You Add Family Office Services?

Providing holistic services can be an avenue for business growth.

Family office services designed specifically for ultra-affluent clients can help you add or expand your offerings and retain existing clients, expand revenue opportunities or even attract new markets. According to the Family Office Exchange, a global community of affluent families and advisors, family offices grew revenues by 13 percent from 2010 to 2011 and by 8 percent in 2012. Growth figures for family offices from The Family Wealth Alliance are similar: a 9.6 percent increase in assets and an 11.3 percent increase in revenues in 2012.

What Is a Family Office?

A single-family office is a private company that manages all things financial for one family, whereas a multifamily office serves several wealthy families. Depending on the complexity of the family and the number of family members served, a family office can have several employees or dozens. Typical family office services include:

  • Estate and wealth transfer planning
  • Record keeping and bill payment
  • Family life management
  • Trusts
  • Family philanthropy and charitable giving
  • Business succession planning
  • Insurance
  • Family governance and distribution of family wealth
  • Non-liquidity asset management, including airplanes, watercraft, art and residences
  • Concierge services, such as securing tickets to exclusive events

Does a Family Office Make Sense?

Even if your firm already offers services to ultra-high-net-worth individuals, the family office likely offers more holistic services than what you are providing. Determine what your competitors are offering and be prepared to at least match those services.

To differentiate your family office, try to provide unique services. One family office allows its clients access to a firm-owned yacht. Not only do clients appreciate being able to borrow the yacht for outings, they also invite friends who could become potential clients.

Word of mouth will be your most powerful business development tool, but you'll still need exceptionally high quality marketing materials to share with potential clients. These materials should be extremely professional, so it may be worth hiring a talented design team to create them.

Running a family office can be demanding, as clients in this segment have very complex needs. It's critical to implement sophisticated technology and processes to automate as many of the operations as possible.

For more information on establishing a family office, visit the Family Office Exchange ( or The Family Wealth Alliance (


The article you read was prepared for general information purposes by McMurry. These articles are for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. PNC urges its customers to do independent research and to consult with financial and legal professionals before making any financial decisions.These articles may provide reference to Internet sites as a convenience to our readers. While PNC endeavors to provide resources that are reputable and safe, we cannot be held responsible for the information, products, or services obtained on such sites and will not be liable for any damages arising from your access to such sites. The content, accuracy, opinions expressed, and links provided by these resources are not investigated, verified, monitored or endorsed by PNC.