The Growth of Single Family Offices ~ market folly

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Growth of Single Family Offices

By: Richard Wilson


I wanted to share a few words on the family office industry based on my experience as founder of the Family Office Club, the #1 largest family office association, and research I conducted for my latest book, The Single Family Office: Creating, Operating & Managing Investments of a Single Family Office.

With so much new wealth creation in the world, single and multi-family offices have emerged as a preferred structure to handle the needs of high net worth individuals and ultra-high net worth individuals.  The family office model provides a much-needed structure for managing wealth and all of the important services that are used by exceptionally affluent families.

The State of Wealth Worldwide

According to the 2013 World Wealth Report by Capgemini, there are 111,000 ultra-high net worth individuals (those with $30M or more in net worth) around the world.  Our experience suggests there are between 7,000 to 10,000 formalized single family offices globally.  Our research and surveys also indicate that there are over 20,000 families with $100M in wealth or greater.  If you look at global wealth trends, you can see that there is an astounding increase in new wealth being created, and not only in traditional wealth hubs like North America and Europe, but we are already seeing a shift in affluence to emerging markets such as China, India and fast-growing economies in the South Pacific.

The Growing Need For Single Family Offices

Single family offices have the ability to best serve ultra-wealthy families, in the most focused, holistic, and aligned way possible.  Single family offices are not well understood, and yet they are all around us and actively engaged in business, the community, and any number of different activities that affect us.  Single family offices are often behind venture capital firms, operating private businesses, backing the powerful politicians that we love (and those that we don't), and owning the sports teams that we enjoy watching.

Ultra-high net worth individuals control more than one-third of the total high net worth individual wealth in the world and represent less than one percent of the global high net worth individual population.  These individuals possess extraordinary assets and represent some of the greatest success stories in modern history, from Wal-Mart's Sam Walton to the Wizard of Omaha himself, Warren Buffett.  With these families' major impact on society and business, it is no wonder that so many people are interested in learning more about how these affluent families protect their assets and manage their resources.

Free Video:  If you would like to learn more about the history of the family office industry, please see this short video recorded at 10,000 feet in the Swiss Alps:

Single family offices are thriving globally, with new organizations being launched around the world.  Our team estimates that there are at least 7,000 single family offices globally, a good portion of which have no website, no business cards, and only a select few people who are informed regarding their actual legal structure or holdings.  This culture of privacy makes sense given the high-profile of the clients, but it can be frustrating for those looking to work with family offices and even other single family offices who just want to network with their peers.  That is why we launched the Family Office Club nearly a decade ago and why we host live networking events and conferences like next month's Single Family Office Summit in New York.  These are some of the few opportunities for live interaction with family office executives and a chance for those in the industry to share their wealth management strategies, views on the market, and best practices for serving their family clients.

We will continue to provide resources and information on the family office industry and we encourage you to join our association, take advantage of free resources like the video above or our free PDF report, and other information available on our website:

If you are looking to attend that Single Family Office Summit, we have extended a special discount to Market Folly readers so you can attend for just $797 by using the discount code "SFO" here: or you can call (212) 729-5067 to complete your reservation over the phone.

Thank you for your time and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the family office industry.

Richard C. Wilson
CEO & Founder
The Family Office Club
Direct: (503) 922-1811
Fax: (480) 772-4041
77 Harbor Drive Suite #76
Key Biscayne, Florida 33149
Live Conferences:
Associations & Communities: |
The Single Family Office Book:

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