LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
family office faqs
lisa strutzel, family office services director
Although modern family offices have been in existence since the 19th century, the term is ambiguous to most people. What makes family office such an elusive concept? As all families are unique, so too are the offices and service providers that assist with managing their family capital. With that in mind, the following are answers to some of the more common questions asked about family offices.
Q: What is a family office?
A: A family office is a professional organization established to help a family manage its wealth. Single family offices serve one family – typically the first-generation wealth creators and their lineal descendants. Multi-family offices provide personalized advice and service to more than one unrelated family.
Q: Why establish a family office or use the services of a multi-family office?
A: Sustaining wealth between generations requires more than just managing money. It takes a commitment to manage the wealth as a family enterprise. Family office professionals have the knowledge and experience necessary to provide the complexity of services required to sustain and grow family capital. Their emphasis on the whole family provides a multitude of benefits, including a more focused approach to family continuity measures.
Q: What is the role of the family office?
A: Family offices have various roles depending on the needs of the families they serve. Some provide investment and financial assistance only; others provide both financial and lifestyle support.
Lutz Family Office has a comprehensive service offering, providing customized solutions based on clients’ needs. Some of the services we provide include:
- Integrated financial planning – financial, tax, wealth transfer, and succession planning
- SEC registered investment advisory services
- Outsourced accounting services and bill payment
- Property management and domestic staff support
- Risk management services – protection of wealth by identifying and mitigating risks
- Family meeting coordination
- Family education planning – preparation of the next generation to handle the impact of wealth
- Entrepreneurship support – assistance with identifying and vetting potential business opportunities
- Family philanthropy assistance – mission statement development and strategic vision support
Q: What net worth is required to make using family office services feasible?
A: The sophisticated systems and professional capability required to run a single family office equate to high operating costs, necessitating a family to be worth at least $100 million for this exclusive option to be viable. For this reason, many high-net-worth families are opting to use the services of multi-family offices. The multi-family office offering is a cost-effective way to receive customized services while recognizing economies of scale from pooling resources. This may be the right solution for you if you don’t want the responsibility of establishing your own single family office or the combined net worth of your family is above $10 million, and you want the exclusive level of service provided by family office professionals.
Q: What does the term family capital refer to, and how does that apply to family offices?
A: Family capital is a multidimensional term for wealth, of which financial capital is only one component. High functioning families of wealth and their advisors take a broad view of wealth, realizing it encompasses human and social factors as well.
As aptly put by Henry David Thoreau: “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LISA STRUTZEL, CPA, CAP® + FAMILY OFFICE SERVICES DIRECTOR
Lisa Strutzel is the Family Office Services Director at Lutz with over 14 years of past experience as a family office executive. She is responsible for assisting high-net-worth clients manage their family enterprise.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Family Office Services
- Financial Reporting
- Philanthropy and Legacy Planning
- High-Net-Worth Families
- Aviation Matters
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- Certified Public Accountant
- Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy, CAP®
- Purposeful Planning Institute, Member
- Nebraska Society of CPAs, Member
- BBA, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
- MCC Applied Finance Institute Advisory Board
- The Hope Center for Kids, Past President and Treasurer
- CAP Advisory Board Member
- Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN), Volunteer
- Family Office FAQs
- Resilient Family Capital
- Resilience Skills: What You Need When the Going Gets Tough
- Family Businesses + How to Operate Like the Pros
- Eyes Wide Open + Mitigating Risk
- Financial Fitness for the New Year
- Family Philanthropy + Creating a Shared Legacy
- Family Governance + Not an Act
- Family Meetings + Strengthening the Bonds That Bind
- What is a Family Office?
- Engaging the Next Generation With the Family Foundation
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