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The Agile Family Office

By Jon Kenfield, Founder, Family Business Institute

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Accreditation Program 2018

Family Business Institute’s October and November network meetings focused on the suite of services “ordinary” firms can provide to their “relatively ordinary” business family clients under the banner:  Agile Family Office.

Once we accept digital disruption to the professions as a fact, the next question is:  “What are we doing about it?”   Many firms are still in “wait and see” mode – which promises great client capture opportunities for those with the courage to meet the challenge head on.

Large firms are already well down this new track, with their “Private Client” services, while cashed-up banks, and Single and Multi-Family Offices, have been mercilessly pursuing UHNW (ultra-high net worth) clients, for years.

For every other accountant, lawyer and financial adviser, an Agile Family Office could be part of their solution, or salvation.  It comes with a proven best practice model, supported by training, accreditation, tools and resources, personal and practice support, an active and highly supportive collaborative adviser network, and personal marketing.

What is an Agile Family Office (“AFO”)?

AFO is a broad focus, non-exclusive, collaborative, professional advisory virtual facility, committed to the provision of whatever advice, guidance and practical services (technical and human) a business family needs over the course of multiple generations of family, business ownership and wealth management.

AFOs improve long term outcomes for families that have sufficient business interests and/or financial assets to make it worth managing and protecting them for the benefit of current and future generations.  A typical candidate family’s net worth will be: $5M – $80M.

What’s Good and what’s Different about the AFO?

The Good:  AFOs can be quickly established and cost-effectively operated by ordinary progressive professional advisers and firms.   It’s a genuine force multiplier, building on existing skills and capabilities; enhancing trusted relationships with clients across multiple generations; and deepening the scope and reach of existing client services.

The Different:   AFOs extend professional scopes and skills well beyond traditional silos; they encourage engagement with a broad professional network of complementary, collaborative advisers; and provide a powerful marketing tool for attracting new, high quality, staff and clients.

Thanks to Fiona Hindmarsh (Quare), Phil Beaney (South Rock Advisory) and James Norman (Mancell Accountants & Business Advisors) for their insights and wisdom.


Written by Family Business Institute

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