December 4, 2023
The Time Has Come For Automated Accounting
In 2023, family offices are focusing on doing things right rather than radically different. Forbes emphasizes the importance of professionalizing family wealth, implementing long-term compensation benchmarks, retaining talent, and decentralizing risk for success amid uncertainty. One key aspect is optimizing accounting processes and workflows, acknowledging the impact of automation on accountants. Instead of fearing job replacement, the synergy between technology and staff is highlighted. Efficient automation in family offices involves streamlining accounting, standardizing workflows, and deploying technology to enhance decision-making.
October 26, 2023
Top 5 AI-Driven Security Threats for Family Offices in 2023
Murali Nadarajah, CIO at Eton Solutions, co-authored this article with AtlasFive AI-tool EtonGPT. EtonGPT is the first family office large language model that has been fine-tuned with family office best practices. Built on GPT-4, it operates on a secure, private instance for each client.
October 19, 2023
Transformative Trends Shaping Family Offices in 2023
In 2023, the landscape of family offices is undergoing transformative shifts, shaped by evolving demands and technological advancements, as thoroughly analyzed in Simple’s Family Office Software and Technology in 2023 report. At the forefront of these changes, four major trends stand out: technology integration, professionalization, outsourcing services, and customization, all weaved together against the backdrop of globalization.
September 7, 2023
Streamlining Tax Preparation for Ultra-High-Net-Worth Families: A Blueprint for Success
As ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) families navigate the intricate web of assets, investments, and complex legal structures, the task of tax preparation becomes a formidable challenge. Even when relying on external CPAs, the process remains time-consuming and error-prone. However, there is a powerful solution at hand: harnessing the right technology can revolutionize tax preparation for UHNW families.
June 27, 2023
Leveraging AI in the Family Office
Driven by advancements in machine learning and generative AI, this technology is making remarkable strides across virtually all sectors of white-collar professions, with family office services being a prime example. AI’s sophisticated tools do more than just streamline processes; they automate tasks and strengthen decision-making abilities.
August 11, 2023
Ensuring the Success of a Family Office: Navigating Operational Risks
Educating individuals about the intricacies of a family office involves understanding its fundamental role in risk management. A member of a family office once experienced a revelatory "lightbulb" moment, recognizing that the core function of a family office is to manage risks effectively. The failure to do so can indeed lead to the downfall of a family office. While both investment and operational risks demand attention, it is the latter that poses the potential for catastrophic failure.
May 11, 2023
Introducing Eton Solutions Administrative Family Office (AFO)™
The increasing accumulation of wealth has led to a surge in the establishment of family offices by ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families. The attraction lies in the increased control, visibility, and flexibility that these family offices offer, outperforming the services that traditional wealth management firms provide. Mordor Intelligence data shows that there were 7,300 family offices globally in 2019, marking a 38% increase over the previous two years.
February 23, 2023
Optimum Governance for a Family Office: Transparency is the Key
In the family office world, the issue of governance is prominent. Discussions, theories, and various approaches to governance are the subject of numerous books and conference sessions. Governance ultimately provides the policies, processes, and oversight by which a family can work with its family office to maintain unity and trust in managing its wealth and business affairs.
February 8, 2023
Moving the Line of Focus in a Family Office
Family offices have increasingly discovered that technology and strategy are inseparable. Technology has an inner logic that simply must be considered in strategic planning—the process of creating a concept of the business, identifying goals and objectives and the long-term approach to meet them, and formulating plans of action, can't be separated from a discussion of office technology. Technology is more than just functional nuts and bolts; it can set an office on a sustainable path for the future to empower it to work at that "higher level."
January 5, 2023
2023: Time for a Resilient Family Office
Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of risk. For family office’s, the need to adapt intensified with the pandemic and will be ongoing through a potential recession in 2023/2024.
December 14, 2022
Is Your Family Office Software Obsolete? How To Tell
All family offices rely on software to help run their operations. While many of these packages are routinely updated, they may no longer meet the needs of a modern office. What makes software obsolete? Gartner describes obsolete software as “an information system that may be based on outdated technologies, but is critical to day-to-day operations.”
September 22, 2022
Points of Failure in a Family Office
Do family offices ever fail? Yes, they do. The reasons behind many failures involve family dynamics, in which generational and other differences create tensions and challenges. However, there is another major point of failure for family offices that is easier to correct—technology.
December 7, 2022
A Self-Driving Family Office?
Along the technology journey toward automotive automation and self-driving cars, experts frequently talk about five levels of automation, ranging from no driving automation whatsoever (Level 1) to full driving automation (Level 5). Today’s family offices might think about a similar spectrum when considering where they are in harnessing the power of automation to improve the way they get from here to there.
September 8, 2022
Time is Money: Even in a Family Office
In business, it's all about the bottom line. There are several factors that affect that bottom line, and an effective business leader will monitor them all. One of the most important measures is what's called the operational efficiency ratio, also known as the indicator of the health of the business. The operating efficiency ratio compares the expenses to any revenue generated and obviously the goal is to have as low a ratio as possible—to be able to generate revenue in the most efficient way.
July 19, 2022
The Changing Nexus in Family Office Technology: Managing Data is More Important than Reporting
We all know that data equals knowledge. It provides a way to measure and is a basis for decision-making. In any organization, knowledge enables individuals to respond to challenges before they become full-blown crises.
June 15, 2022
Why Family Office Technology Matters: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Back in the old days, when the holy grail of an integrated investment ledger and general ledger was just a dream, a family office had to cobble a system together with the tools available. Many offices relied on the combination of Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks, or they looked to a wide variety of point-based functional technology products that had been sold into the family office space – after being developed for fund managers, hedge funds, private equity firms, etc. Not a great solution, but options were limited.
August 17, 2022
Why the Right Family Office Software is Even More Important in a Sliding Economy
More than a few economists are now predicting a recession in late 2022 or in 2023. Then again, others say a downturn will be averted. Either way, most people think that a family office is well protected and would not be affected much by a recession. History says otherwise.
June 2, 2022
Top 5 Security Threats in Financial Services in 2022
In today’s world, no industry is immune to cybersecurity attacks. From hospitals to logistics companies, businesses recognize the importance of proactively ensuring their data is kept secure. Alarmingly, the pandemic only increased the rate of attacks across all industries: some reports estimate cybercrime has been up 600% in the last 2 years. There are over 18 million websites infected with malware at any given time – all it takes is one employee or client visiting one of these sites to expose a family office to potential exploitation.
May 19, 2022
Meeting the Staffing Challenges of the Family Office of the Future
Building, retaining, empowering, and optimizing teams is perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing any organization. Without good people who have the knowledge and tools to excel at their jobs, businesses cannot perform.
March 16, 2022
Family Office Cybersecurity
Across multiple surveys of family office software users, cybersecurity is consistently the single most important and commonly identified item of concern. The potential breach of the family office IT system and the loss of confidential data keep many family office personnel up at night.
April 21, 2022
Rehumanizing the Family Office
The idea of machines overthrowing and displacing humans has long been feared. This fear dates to at least 1872 in Samuel Butler's literary work Erewhon. Then, machines were mere metal gears, yet this fear still festered. The fear was driven by comparing the rate of the evolution of machines vs. the pace of the evolution of humans. Butler states, "What I fear is the extraordinary rapidity with which they are becoming something very different to what they are at present. No class of beings have in any time past made so rapid a movement forward."
May 5, 2022
Islands can be ideal vacation destinations. However, data islands (or data silos) cause significant problems when managing a family office. Created by using the wrong tools and work processes, data islands result in work duplication, reporting delays and errors, and families wondering about the true status of their affairs.
November 10, 2021
Reimagining Family Office Cybersecurity and IT Excellence
If your family office is still using on-premises IT infrastructure, such as in-house servers running your applications, you probably are taking significant unnecessary security and compliance risks. You're also wasting precious time and resources that could be better spent adding value for your family.
February 17, 2022
A Universal Family Office Platform: Is It Possible?
"Tailor-made" is a popular expression that suggests a great fit for a given need or situation. A great fit can be fantastic if achieving that right fit doesn't require exorbitant amounts of time, inefficient manual processes, costly custom software development, and too many resources.
August 17, 2021
How Proposed Changes with Bill H.R. 4620 May Affect Your Family Office
Since a single family office (SFO) is solely tasked with managing the money of one single family, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has historically allowed them to operate under different regulations from traditional investment advisors. The 2008 financial crash first prompted regulators to reconsider this exemption. Although no changes were made at that time, the more recent collapse of Archegos Capital Management in March 2021 spurred lawmakers to introduce bill H.R. 4620, which would change how SFOs are regulated
February 1, 2022
Family Office Trends for 2022
Charles Darwin wrote that the strongest and most intelligent members of a species are not the ones that survive. Instead, the strongest and most intelligent ones are those “most responsive to change.” His observation is worth considering as family offices enter the new year.
December 2, 2021
Bill-Pay Reimagined for the Family Office
Bill-pay in a family office—what does it look like? The process starts when a product or service is purchased, and the office receives a vendor invoice for payment. That invoice is recorded, validated, approved for payment, and then paid. The process is time-consuming and error-prone for many family offices, involving manual, paper-intensive workflows, multiple point systems, and spreadsheets.
October 8, 2021
Reimagining Data Aggregation in the Family Office
Aggregating data for reporting, planning, and performance tracking is one of the most essential requirements for any family office. Its importance continues to grow. As the hub for a wide range of information critical to the family or families it serves, the family office needs to quickly and accurately aggregate, analyze, and report on data from various sources.
September 16, 2021
Direct Investing by Family Offices: The Barbell Challenge
The direct investing process for family offices is an ever-increasing “barbell” challenge. Initially there is the process of evaluation and due diligence around the proposed investment, and then once the investment is made the perils revolve around data and maintaining the investment “reality”: IRR, ownership, reporting, etc. Investment on one side and operations on the other — this can be a big-lift for a family office.