Family offices originated in the USA. During the second half of the nineteenth century, wealthy families like the Rockefellers and the Whittiers created them to manage their assets.
The original family offices mainly existed to manage property. However, the industry developed rapidly as clients’ needs became increasingly complex, with family offices taking on a more general role overseeing all of a family’s personal and professional assets.
Today, the USA has an estimated 4,000 family offices managing $1,000 billion (source PwC). The industry is less developed in Europe, which accounts for 20% of the market (compared to 75% for the USA). The reasons for this are undoubtedly cultural.
Family offices provide a wide range of services, which differ from one office to another. Services generally reach beyond managing assets (securities portfolios, property, yachts, etc.) to encompass legal services