Navigating the evolution of family offices

In the ever-evolving landscape of family offices, adaptability is paramount.

As the next generation of leaders emerges as influential figures in their respective sectors, established players must pivot to meet their evolving needs. Forbes describes the next generation as “naturally more tech-savvy, value transparency and have strong beliefs around sustainability – four factors that will bear significantly on how banks engage with family offices and force a need to evolve their services to stay relevant”. At Itriom, we not only recognise these shifts but provide the support necessary for seamless transition planning and tailored succession solutions that align seamlessly with the dynamic family office environment.

Citi Private Bank’s Global Family Office Report for 2023 provides invaluable insights into the year’s transformative trends. With 268 respondents hailing from leading family offices worldwide, overseeing a collective wealth of $565 billion, the report unveils crucial shifts that have shaped the landscape.

The report reveals four key points:

More than private banking

  • Family offices are now seeking a strategic discussion partner in their banking institutions.
  • Historical expertise is valued for providing deeper insights, comprehensive wealth management, and best-practice perspectives within the private wealth ecosystem.
  • Singapore’s DBS Bank sets an exemplary precedent with its in-house multi-family office, offering full compliance and governance services. However, a pertinent question arises about the independence of advice when linked to a bank.

 Globalisation comes standard

  • The next generation emphasises a global outlook, reducing attachment to single jurisdictions in family office structures.
  • There’s an amplified need for fully globalised banking solutions.
  • Banks with a worldwide presence, like JP Morgan Chase or UBS, hold a unique advantage, outpacing smaller, niche-focused banks. Despite recent events like the Credit Suisse incident, established family office banks retain trustworthiness in managing intricate international financial needs.

 Technology is inherent

  • The professionalisation of family offices is driving increased integration with multiple service providers.
  • Banks embracing emerging technologies are poised for success.
  • SEB, a leading Nordic bank, exemplifies this approach through its digital-first strategy and the innovative SEB-X lab. This has facilitated seamless AI integration in data analytics and service capabilities, culminating in an open banking platform for clients to manage their finances across multiple banks seamlessly.

 Transparency breeds trust

  • The ‘Google-generation’ values transparency in pricing and contracts.
  • Recent revelations regarding the worthlessness of major carbon offset projects highlight the skepticism the next generation holds towards institutions.
  • A values-oriented approach, exemplified by Swiss private bank Lombard Odier, is recognised and rewarded. Their B Corp Certification and commitment to aligning customer interests with actions mark sustainability as the “largest investment opportunity in history”.

 Focused philanthropy

  • Philanthropy is evolving, demanding more effective measurability.
  • Banks managing philanthropic strategies must go beyond replication and provide personalised advice.
  • The next generation displays a targeted approach in their philanthropic endeavours, emphasising the importance of aligning current and future generations’ interests.

In conclusion, as family offices continue to transform, Itriom stands at the forefront, offering tailored solutions that empower clients to navigate these changes with confidence. Our expertise in succession planning, coupled with a deep understanding of the trends outlined in Citi’s Global Family Office Report, positions us as trusted partners in ensuring enduring success for generations to come.

About the author:

Matthew Millard-Beer is CEO & Founder, based in Itriom’s London Office.

About Itriom

Itriom is the global impact platform helping leading families shape a better world. Itriom’s platform enables families to refresh and redesign their values, aligns them with the right UN Sustainable Development Goals, combining them in an agreed purpose and a Family Impact Charter. Itriom’s platform supports the development of impact initiatives and whilst providing discrete and secure spaces for peer-to-peer messaging and collaboration. Itriom’s core practices in leadership, geostrategy, and sustainability benefit clients by developing strategies to engage and support the next generation in building a lasting legacy of which families can be proud. 

About Itriom's Leadership Practice

Itriom’s leadership and resilience practice instils all-encompassing leadership in support of principals of leading families and the next generation preparing for family succession, transition and evolution.

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Alizah Beg

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Alizah is an ESG Consultant and researcher. She supports Itriom developing sustainability related products and services, helping our clients identify potential opportunities for creating positive environmental, social and sustainable impact.

Georgina Murrin

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Tim Boughton

Senior Partner
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Renowned family office thought leader, Tim works with UHNW families to ensure they are fully equipped to deliver their legacies inter-generationally and effectively.

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Dr. Herb creates methodologies and frameworks for managing, measuring and assessing sustainability performance. His work identifies where maximum impact can be made.

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Matthew Millard-Beer

Managing Partner
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Matthew is Founder & CEO of Itriom, providing solutions and a global platform for Ultra High Net Worth Principals and their families to engage in unifying purpose, enduring legacy, and sustainable impact.