a family having dinner and discussing family office options

A family office can be a smart move for business owners

A family office can be a smart move for business owners

Synopsis
4 Minute Read

As a business owner, you know how important it is to have a trusted leadership team around you to make solid decisions. What if you had the same team to help you make the big decisions for your family? With a family office, you can get that – and more.

As a business owner, you value the role of a chief financial officer – especially for keeping the health of your business on course during this turbulent pandemic. For many entrepreneurs and company leaders, your CFO has been helping to adapt financial strategy, protect the bottom line, and prepare the organization for what's ahead.

So, have you considered whether your family could also benefit from the knowledgeable, steady hand of a CFO?

If you have significant or complex personal wealth and assets, you likely have requirements that are similar to those of your business. Volatile markets, a disrupted economy, family stress, and a lack of time for informed decision-making might be leading you to lay awake at night worrying about how to protect your family's financial well being. This is why more and more families are entrusting their personal financial affairs to a family office.

The role of a family office

Like a CFO, a family office carries out similar tasks for personal financial matters. A family office may comprise a dedicated team of advisors and specialists including professionals whose expertise spans the entire spectrum of your family's financial needs – from wealth management to technology solutions; risk management; tax, succession, retirement, and estate planning; administration services; bookkeeping and accounting; and governance.

How a family office helps you

By leveraging and integrating this expertise and support, a family office provides structure, direction, transparency, and objectivity to support your decision-making in the following ways.

  • Understand your short and long terms goals for your business and your family, define a clear direction and develop a roadmap
  • Ensure your wealth is managed according to your vision and values by establishing family governance and oversight processes
  • Harmonize planning between the family business, investments, personal assets, philanthropic interests, and family members and help you understand the risks, opportunities, and complexities of related decisions
  • Assist in implementing decisions while managing compliance and documentation requirements
  • Consolidate assets and provide an objective, professional assessment of progress
  • Advise on and implement strategies for retirement, succession planning, estate planning, and tax planning to maximize personal financial security
  • Prepare the next generation to be capable financial stewards and future business leaders

Why business owners should explore this opportunity

Owning and managing a business is complex enough. But involving family adds another factor to the equation and raises the stakes. When you are planning the next stage for your business, it's more than just the bottom line on your mind - it's your family's future.

When we talk to business owners that are thinking about the long term, we find that many of our questions haven't been considered yet. For example, do your kids know when you want to retire? What do you plan to do in retirement and have you done a financial analysis to understand how you'll fund those plans? Have you created a plan for transitioning your children into leadership or transitioning family wealth?

These are big questions that can be hard to wrap your head around. The consequences of your decisions are wide-ranging. In your business, you likely assemble a team to help you work through major decisions and explore all avenues before taking a step.

A family office offers the same approach: you work with a team of advisors that work to understand your situation and help you create a strategy that reflects your needs and dreams.

Learn more

To learn more strategies for preserving your family fortune and assets, contact Kerry Smith, CPA, CA, TEP, National Leader, Family Office Services.

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