CEO Founders: Do You Need a Family Office? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Do You Need a Family Office

By Eric Becker | Co-Founder, Cresset

As a CEO Founder, you’ve likely been so focused on growing your business and taking care of your team that your own finances and wealth planning have been pushed to the back burner. I can certainly relate to that. Before launching Cresset, I spent decades building successful businesses but found little time to take care of my own increasingly complex financial needs.

Of course, I knew about family offices and how they exist to address complex family financial situations like mine. But, for a long time, I doubted whether any family office could affordably bring together a holistic set of solutions without the need for me to “quarterback” every aspect of the work performed to ensure it all came together into a cohesive whole.

I was wrong.

Family offices have come a long way from being the purview of only the very wealthiest families. Not only do family offices today exist to ensure a family’s assets are well invested and properly protected, but they also handle a multitude of other needs, including cash streams, bill payments, estate planning, taxes, and legal affairs. Many family offices also manage travel logistics, lifestyle administration, philanthropic planning, and family education, too.

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of boutique family offices and multi-family offices, which has been powered by the increased automation and democratization of information. Today, there are private wealth management options through family offices to satisfy the risk and fee tolerance of many more CEO founders and entrepreneurs than ever before.

The most significant shift has been in the principles by which a strong family office operates. Transparency is the key to knowing on which side of the table your team sits and how they are being compensated. At Cresset, we embrace transparency and the legal obligation to place your best interests first. That commitment guides the fee-only family office services we provide to the CEO founders, entrepreneurs, wealth creators, and ultra-high-net-worth families who are our clients.

So how do you know if you need a family office?

Ask yourself these 5 questions:

1. Do I anticipate a significant liquidity event in the next 2-5 years? If so, you likely need a family office.

2. Have my financial affairs become so complex that I no longer have the time or expertise to manage it all? If so, you likely need a family office.

3. Are my children or grandchildren ready to manage the family’s wealth for the long-term? If you have doubts, you likely need a family office.

4. Does my existing financial advisor truly have my best interests at heart? If you have doubts, you likely need a family office

5. Do I have confidence in my wealth transfer strategy and estate plan? If not, you likely need a family office.

At Cresset, we address all those questions and more by taking a holistic view of your financial picture, fleshing out your goals and priorities, mapping out a cohesive financial plan, and layering in value-added services, including portfolio, tax, legal, private banking, family governance and lifestyle services. Because of our expertise in pre-transaction planning, we can also help you navigate and streamline your affairs before and after a liquidity event.

A family office may be exactly what you need to provide security and peace of mind for your family today and for generations to come.