Family Office Association – Creating A Single Family Office to Manage Wealth and Sustain the Family
A Single Family Office (SFO) is a private company of professionals who are dedicated exclusively to the investment, personal and legacy needs of one family.
The concept of an SFO can be traced back to the Roman major domus (head of the house) and the medieval major-domo (chief steward)1 as well as the British landed estate.
The modern SFO originated in the 19th century by family dynasties who accumulated significant wealth created during the American industrial age. Interest in SFOs has grown during the last twenty years with a new wave of worldwide wealth coupled with global economic turmoil of the past decade. Extreme volatility, banking and business failures and investment fraud, has motivated many families of significant wealth to take control of their financial affairs and preserve their family legacy.
While a number of wealth management firms call themselves “family offices,” this white paper focuses on the “Single Family Office” or SFO—a privately-owned and – run wealth management firm developed for one family. Each SFO is as unique as the family who founded it. As the saying goes: “If you’ve seen one single family office, you’ve seen one single family office.”