by Christine Rew Barden
Attorney, DeWitt, Ross & Stevens
Family Offices conjure up images of grand office suites in which workers go about managing the massive wealth of a high-profile family.While there may be such offices in operation, they are the exception rather than the rule.Family offices are becoming an attractive and practical option to an ever-increasing segment of the U.S. population.
At last count, there were approximately 5,000 family offices operating in the United States (Marianne Mihailidis, Project Consultant, Family Office Exchange, Inc., Oak Park, Illinois).With millionaire households growing at an annual rate of 12% (“Emerging Technologies Change Financial Services Industry,” FOX Exchange Newsletter, Jane Adler, Special Fall Forum Edition, 12/2000), the number of family offices only promises to climb.The high net worth family faces unique challenges ranging from how to obtain the best investment returns on family assets to how to instill in the next generation the family values which made their family great. More…