Bespoke analysis of overall wealth alleviates the administrative burden of complex family affairs.
The type of support a family office client requires varies enormously from family to family. However, what they all have in common is a seemingly endless to-do list, according to Priyanka Hindocha, Director, Family Office.
“The opportunities and the risks faced by our clients are often so great that they become difficult for individuals to manage without external support. Our ultimate goal is to provide a service that is both of most interest and use to a busy family. Often, that means consolidating their affairs to take on the administrative burden, manage complexity and provide clear visibility on a family’s affairs.”
In order to manage complexity, a Stonehage Fleming Consolidated Wealth Report (CWR) is a hugely powerful tool, says Priyanka. “These reports provide an overview of the entire scope of a family’s assets, across their various portfolios and structures. However, we go further than a standard investment pack by including art, property, and other asset classes. We also include important matters such as key deadlines, upcoming commitments, and the details of key advisers.”
A CWR can be prepared in any way to suit the needs of the client, says Priyanka. However, regardless of the format, they are invaluable tools for getting to know a family. “These reports are not only beneficial for us in terms of understanding how best we can support a family but they are equally useful for our families themselves. Very often, it is the first time they have seen a snapshot of the entire scope of their affairs in one place. It provides unusually clear visibility.”
Succession is a crucial concern for high net worth individuals and it is here that the CWR can be a critical asset during times of upheaval or crisis. “If a key decision-maker passes away unexpectedly or loses capacity, the CWR can provide peace of mind. A family can rest assured that their affairs are documented, all in one place and that they have the support of an outsourced Family Office in their time of greatest need,” Priyanka explains.
Ultimately, says Priyanka, the role of the Family Office is to take responsibility for a family’s ‘to do list’ so that they have time to focus on the areas that are of most interest to them. Managing a complex family can be comparable to running a large private business. “The relationship manager is “a combination of co-pilot, COO and CFO, there to support and advise on strategic decision-making. Getting a clear picture of a family’s affairs and drawing up a list of priorities is the first step in doing this.”