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CITI Private Bank publishes guide for Family Office formation and governance


Citi Private Bank has released Organisational Design, Strategic Leadership, and Governance Insights for Family Offices: A blueprint for families, senior executives and practitioners.

Citi Private Bank’s Global Family Office Group has experience serving over 1000 Family Offices worldwide, both new and established, ranging from small to institutional. The comprehensive guide draws on this knowledge to provide a framework for future family offices in their formation and governance. The report is authored by Bill Woodson, Head of the North America Family Office Group and Edward Marshall, Director in the Global Family Office Group.
The white paper presents and discusses some of the professional practices adopted by established family offices to provide senior family office executives and their principals with benchmarks in three key areas: organisational design and key service areas of family offices as they pertain to the family office management company; senior leadership positions, with a focus on job responsibilities, skills required, success metrics and experience needed; and strategic, managerial and governance insights that help navigate the unique dynamics that exist within every wealthy family.
“The family office industry has grown tremendously over the past twenty years as the number of ultra high net worth families and the complexity of their needs has increased dramatically,” says Woodson. “This rise in the number of family offices has also led to an increase in the breadth and sophistication of professionals who are interested in working for these institutions, particularly at the senior leadership level. As a result, family offices are professionalizing at a faster rate than before and can experience certain unique growing pains as with any other nascent industry,” he continues.
Wealth-X estimates that there are approximately 15,000 families globally at or above USD250 million in net worth and that these families control approximately USD13 trillion in wealth which represents approximately half of all the wealth controlled by ultra high net worth individuals globally. The Family Office Group at Citi Private Bank surmises that the majority of these families either currently has a family office or will move to such a structure in the near future.
“In our experience working with family offices, we can attest that while every family is different, the challenges facing all substantially wealthy families are broadly similar and therefore require similar solutions. The challenges that come with substantial wealth are predictable and, as a result, many of the solutions to those challenges can be identified in advance. This solution-driven approach is what we hope to encourage through this white paper,” says Marshall.
The white paper covers a number of essential topics and headwinds likely to arise within a family office and offers insights on how to best mitigate. The paper identified those areas where family offices are indeed different and warrant unique, family-specific approaches in the governance of the family office. The summary point being that understanding these areas and managing for and around the preferences and proclivities of the principals and their family members is how family office executives can truly distinguish themselves and help the family be successful. The full report can be accessed here.
Citi Private Bank is one of the world’s fastest growing private banks; dedicated to serving worldly and wealthy individuals and families, providing customised private banking across borders. With approximately USD460 billion in global assets under management, the franchise includes 48 offices, serving clients across 116 countries. Citi Private Bank helps clients grow and preserve wealth, finance assets, make cash work harder, preserve legacies, and serve family and family business needs through objective advice and a truly open architecture investment platform. The firm offers clients products and services covering capital markets, managed investments, portfolio management, trust and estate planning, investment finance, banking and aircraft finance, as well as art and sports advisory and finance.

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