Family offices are exclusive wealth management firms which primarily only accept clients with at least $10-$25M in assets. Although family offices typically manage finances for a smaller pool of clients, they are able to provide services in a wide variety of areas such as comprehensive tax and estate planning, charitable giving, foundations, budgeting, and traditional wealth management. Family offices traditionally charge higher fees than a wealth management office, but in return clients receive a more personal, comprehensive level of service, a more sophisticated view of portfolio construction, and access to a wider range of products (including alternative products).
Family office professionals will take the time to ensure your separately managed account investments are balanced and in line with your 401k or IRA investments. Their employees are often experienced and sophisticated enough to understand unified managed accounts (UMAS), and will be able to explain them to clientele so they may be employed where appropriate.
One of example of the personalized service offered by family offices relates to hedge fund investing. With regards to alternative investments, while many family offices employ hedge fund of funds with clients, family office professionals will often identify individual hedge fund managers which best meet the needs of their clients; ultimately, by serving a smaller client base, they are known for working harder to satisfy the needs of each individual investor.
Many high net worth individuals belong to health groups where doctors will take the time to sit down with you for a couple hours each quarter or year and talk about your health and habits. This type of highly personal attention is equivalent to what you get in a financial sense at the best family offices.