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Professional Family Office

A Professional Family Office: Here’s How to Make It Work. It’s an obvious goal, to manage your wealth in the most effective way. You built a successful enterprise before and sold it, now your next enterprise is your professional family office. As the Family Office Exchange put it, the family office in its best form provides a structure that helps preserve the family enterprise by supporting four dimensions of the family: • Business Legacy – where the wealth originates, and for some, the cornerstone for the Family Enterprise• Financial Legacy – where financial security and management of the wealth are maintained • Family Legacy – where the family comes from and where they are heading together • Philanthropic Legacy – where the lasting contribution for the family resides, by giving back in a meaningful mannerWhat makes family wealth preservation so complex are the dynamics of the family in tandem with the shared ownership of assets.

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Business As Usual in the Family Office

During the COVID19 crisis Family Offices have been struggling with remote working and in meeting client requests for updates - often daily. The impact on staff has been tremendous.

Fund Accounting At the Abyss

The expanding universe of alternative investments is accelerating the use of investment partnerships and the need for Fund/Partnership accounting within the Family Office. Traditionally, recording data for a fund or partnership and then tracking and reporting on it, starts small and is managed by someone like the office CFO using spreadsheets.  However, the inevitable and incremental growth in the use of this investment type has caused the spreadsheet model to grow in complexity. This has brought to the forefront the inherent limitations of using the spreadsheet model. Spreadsheets, as we know them, have two key limitations. First, they can be the source of mistakes and result in huge error rates. Secondly, they can cause major problems when it comes to audit and compliance concerns. Spreadsheets give the user a lot of flexibility, for example, with allocations. However, all the knowledge about how the spreadsheet model works is typically in an individual’s head and the lack of transparency and the degree of risk makes this model unsustainable. This way of working is now teetering on the edge of the abyss and must change to include systems integration, controls, and best practices so that Fund/Partnership accounting in a family office can be implicitly trusted. It starts by looking at the tools the hard-working staff at a Family Office have at their disposal. The use of spreadsheets and the associated manual processes should be replaced by a state-of-the-art accounting and reporting platform to enable every type of Fund/Partnership to be administered more efficiently, accurately, with less risk, with more security and built-in transparency.

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