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Protecting legacy: The value of a family office

Services for family office structuring, technology transformation, and risk mitigation

This report is a starting point. It is designed to help wealthy families build on their current understanding of what a family office is, consider factors that have contributed to the success of other family offices, and formulate a plan that leads to the creation or revitalization of their own family office.


With the creation of significant wealth, new worlds often open for high net worth individuals and their families. Exciting opportunities, as well as new challenges, can arise as the family acclimates to the increased complexities of wealth. One important decision may be establishing a family office*—or modernizing an existing one—to oversee the financial affairs of the family rather than relying on financial institutions to provide those services.

*This report focuses on single family offices: private organizations established by families to oversee, directly and indirectly, their financial affairs. References to a “family office” throughout this publication infer a single family office unless otherwise noted. In contrast, a multifamily office is an organization that serves multiple nonrelated families. Sometimes, these are former single family offices that have broadened their client base to serve other nonrelated wealthy families. More often, multifamily offices are third-party wealth management firms that provide outsourced services to wealthy families.

Inside the latest report

Family office fundamentals

Operational considerations

While opinions vary widely, many people in the family office industry believe that a family needs at least $100 million of investable assets to form a family office.

To preserve and manage a family’s wealth, family offices must structure themselves to identify and meet family needs through developing the capacity of their staff and creating effective processes for governance.

Download the family office fundamentals section
Download the operational considerations section

Management considerations

Executing the family's vision

To navigate global risk, family offices should develop a framework for evaluating cybersecurity threats and fraud detection, as well as for managing controls for tax reporting.

To fully execute the family’s vision and manage wealth across generations, family offices should develop clear investment objectives and establish a unifying strategy for achieving the family’s shared philanthropic goals.

Download the management considerations section
Download the executing the family's vision section

Looking ahead

The family office industry continues to evolve and become more sophisticated in response to the demands of the families they serve. Several emerging trends are reshaping the focus of family offices and how they will operate and serve families in the future.


Rather than hiring individuals to input large amounts of data, family offices can seek to hire individuals with enhanced data analytics skills or other specialized skills necessary to deliver new value-added services to the family.


Future of work

Moving forward, family offices will need to find a balance between traditional and flex work arrangements to remain competitive in the marketplace. This may lead to a reduction in office space as their talent pool is no longer restricted to working in-person.



An increasing number of individuals desire to pass a meaningful portion of the wealth generated by the sale of their businesses to philanthropic pursuits, instead of perpetual trusts for the benefit of family members and future generations.


Direct private equity

Direct private equity often requires more active involvement with respect to ongoing business decisions. Accordingly, it will be important for families to agree on the governance with respect to these business investments and whether family members will be allowed to actively participate in the acquired companies.



National Family Office Forum

The Deloitte National Family Office Forum is a biennial gathering of single-family office executives at Deloitte University’s Leadership Center in Westlake, Texas. This program is an interactive event designed to enhance the strategic knowledge of senior family office executives through insightful speakers, immersive environments, and peer networking. The ideas presented in this report reflect participants’ insights from the forums.

Deloitte Local Family Office Forums

Deloitte Private Wealth leaders in cities across the US hold local events for family office executives to connect and discuss top-of-mind issues in a discrete, yet open and collaborative setting. With 2020 presenting unique challenges to almost all businesses, our leaders adeptly pivoted to virtual forums, and attendance continued to be strong. In this way, family office executives are driving powerful agendas to help one another understand and respond to their toughest issues.

Family Office Labs in the Deloitte Greenhouse­® Space

Family offices and the executives who manage them are under growing pressure to deliver value. 
Family Office labs engage people intellectually, physically, and emotionally so they can take problem-solving to a new level.



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