I write with the experience of setting up a single family office and note the comments made in the article below.
A family office is probably one of the most difficult businesses to set up, run and get right.
Having a clear objective from the start is vital for a family office and for the family. However, it does slightly depend on which generation is trying to set up the office. It depends on how large the family wealth is and how dispersed it is across the family and where do the power and influence lie within the whole family unit.
I have three key pieces of advice:
1. Outsource as much as you can. Costs can cripple a family office.
2. Make sure that the 'emotional ownership' that is evident in a family business is also retained in the family office.
3. One size does not fit all. Make sure the services of office can serve the individual family member's needs/requirements as well as the whole collective family.
There are many other factors to take into consideration but not for this occassion!
High networth individuals and wealthy business families, are by definition, successful in what they do. Yet,when it comes to managing their own wealth, more often than not, there is a seat of the pants approach accompanied by a naïve belief that the wealth will somehow manage itself and multiply! Secondly they usually do not keep records or archive important material that will preserve history and serve to inspire their succeeding generations of managers and workers.