This is a key question we frequently encounter. One of the primary purposes of your family office is to maintain the privacy of the family. If you allow someone to spend time in your office, understanding the services, processes and procedures, then you are giving up elements of that privacy. Why would you do that?
A better question might be, “what do you have to gain?” Could there be risks or gaps that you haven’t thought about? Are there holes in your control processes? Could you better serve the family by bringing some services in-house, or perhaps by outsourcing something you currently do in-house? What additional services might you consider providing for the family? Are there ways to deliver your services more efficiently or effectively, perhaps allowing your team to expand their offering?
Do your reports to the family provide them the information they want and need? Are you effectively using technology? And, not to step too hard on your toes, but when you changed your bill pay and approval processes during the pandemic, did you look at your controls to ensure they are still relevant and effective? If fraud were to occur, where is it most likely to happen?
We have worked with a wide variety of family offices over nearly 20 years, and are often challenged to come up with creative ways to add controls (e.g., how do you segregate accounting duties in a one-person office?) or enhance an offering. A family office diagnostic shows how your office compares to other family offices, gives you a quantitative grade, and most importantly, provides a series of recommendations for how to improve the office – risk management, effectiveness and efficiency.
Such a diagnostic can be a great prelude to creating strategic plans, as you prepare to service the family’s next generation or consider technology upgrades. As for the privacy issue that we opened with, we will zealously guard the family’s privacy; our continued business depends on our discretion. Please reach out and let’s discuss a family office diagnostic.
Please reach out today to learn more or request a Family Office Diagnostic .