Craig Simpson, Tax Partner at Bates Weston, explains what a Family Office is and looks at whether your family should have one.

Craig has been working in the Family Office arena for the last decade and finds it incredibly enjoyable. He comments:

“The level of problem solving and thinking on your feet works for me and the ability to learn from clients, investment advisors and other advisors adds to the interest.”

Craig begins with a question. What is a Family Office and should I have one?

A Family Office is typically needed when the Family’s investment assets become very significant and a group of committed advisors – a Family Office –  is necessary to help and advise the family. A Family Office will cover family governance, wealth planning and management, corporate structure, trusts and administration, tax planning, and philanthropy. There may also be trading companies as part of the overall structure. Investment property development is often a common theme.

Where the activities are substantial it needs a dedicated team of advisors who develop a significant amount of knowledge along the way. In providing our family office services as tax advisors we also partner with private client lawyers and investment advisors to bring together all the services we consider a client requires.

So should you have a family office? There are differing levels of need. A full time family office is only required where assets values and activities are very high and there is a need for day to day operational input, but you can access the idea of family office on a part time basis. This is where we can help. We regularly find that clients are challenged by the complexity of investment asset ownership but are not quite sure where to turn. Traditional accountants and tax advisors will focus on audit and tax services to trading companies. Investment businesses can be very complex and finding the right group of advisors difficult. The industry is not training family office specialists and so the pool of expertise is reducing all the time.

I am happy to talk to anyone who feels somewhat overwhelmed by their position or just wants some guidance or insight as to what other people in the same position are doing.

If you would like to speak with Craig regarding your own position, and explore whether our family office service may be of help to you – without obligation, please do get in touch. 

This guidance is generic in nature and does not constitute advice. You should take no action based upon it without consulting ourselves or your own professional advisor.