The number of family offices - secretive firms that manage the financial
affairs of Europe's richest families - has proliferated in the past few years as ultra-wealth
s have become increasingly
disenchanted with mainstream private banks and wealthmanager
s. But family offices don't suit every investor's needs. They also cost a fortune to run.
They vary in size - some are small outfits employing just two or three people for administrative
tasks. Others are fully-fledged investment
offices employing 10 to 20 professionals responsible
for day-to-day investment
European families with their own investment
offices include the Sainsburys, the Pears and the Guinnesses.
Wharton Global Family Alliance, a specialist
unit at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, estimate
s there are around 1,000 single family offices in the world. Paul Pratt, managing director
of the London branch of the Family Office Exchange, an advisory consultancy, thinks this is an underestimate
. He says: 'A more realisticestimate
is likely to be closer to 1,000 just in Europe.'
宾夕法尼亚大学(University of Pennsylvania)沃顿商学院(Wharton School)的专项小组"沃顿全球家族联盟"(Wharton Global Family Alliance)估计，全世界共有约1,000家家族理财室。咨询机构Family Office Exchange伦敦分支的董事总经理普拉特(Paul Pratt)认为这个数字估计得过低。他说，更接近真实的估计是，可能仅欧洲就接近1,000家。
Families need to be exceptionallywealth
y to consider setting
up their own offices. 'To really get the most cost-effective pricing on investment
products and afford the best staff, half a billion
dollars in assets is probably a good rule of thumb,' says Pierre-Alan Wavre, the head of the multi-family office at Pictet, a Swiss private bank.
Greycourt, a US-based financial
advisory firm to some of America's wealth
iest families, has estimate
s it takes a $1 billion
fortune to justify a 'fully integrated' family office, handling the full array of investment
, accounting, legal, educational
and concierge services.
美林公司(Merrill Lynch)和Campden Research一项针对欧洲家族理财室的调查发现，运营理财室的平均成本约为所管理资产的0.6%。调查报告说，理财室规模越大，成本越低。
of European family offices by Merrill Lynch and Campden Research found that the average cost of running
an office is around 0.6% of assets under management
. The bigger the family office, the cheaper the costs, said the report.
Costs for staff alone can run into the millions a year. Typically a fully-integrated family office would have a chief executive
, chief finance
officer, chief investment
officer, at least two investment
analysts, four accountants, one controller and five administration
staff. Some might also employ a lawyer.
'The cost of employing a good chief investment
officer will run into at least 100,000 a year before bonus,' says Mr. Pratt. A chief executive
for a family office will typically cost around 150,000 - plus bonus - a year.
Those with only tens or a few hundred million dollars are increasingly
turning to private investment
offices which cater for a small number of like-minded families. Sometimes these are single family offices that have decided
to take on third party assets. Some multi-family offices accept as little - these things are of course relative
- as 20 million in liquid
多户理财室自称拥有资源更多的优势。多户理财室Stanhope Capital创始人平托(Daniel Pinto)说，单户理财室常常很难拥有建立真正多样化投资组合所需的专业广度与深度；发现、选择不同资产类别和地区的管理机构，需要有一支庞大的团队来做。
Multi-family offices claim to have the advantage
of greater resources. Daniel Pinto, founder
of multi-family office Stanhope Capital, says: 'In a single family office, it is often difficult to have the breadth
and depth of expertise required to build truly diversified portfolios. Screening and selecting manager
s across asset classes and regions takes a large team.'
Specialists say the financialcrisis
has prompted more wealth
y families to turn away from the large global banks to family offices. Bespoke money management
solutions have become increasingly
appealing for investors that have been hit by the credit crunch.
有人发表不同意见说，家族理财室专注于风险管理，富有投资者要想获得更加平衡的建议，还是应该和其他基金经理谈谈。瑞士银行家族伦巴德第六代、私人银行Lombard Odier & Cie执行合伙人蒂埃里•伦巴德(Thierry Lombard)说，家族理财室不可能取代财富管理机构──它没有银行在专业、资源和经验上的广度和深度。
Critics argue that family offices concentratemanagement
risk and that wealth
y investors should still talk to other fund manager
s to get a more balanced range of advice. Thierry Lombard, sixth generation
of the Swiss banking
family and managing partner
of the private bank Lombard Odier & Cie, says: 'A family office cannot be a substitute
for a wealthmanager
- it cannot have the breadth
and depth of expertise, resources and experience that a bank can provide.'
Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, chairman of the board of partner
s of Merck and a member of the 11th generation
of the family that controls the company, says: 'When a family has invested everything in their company and there is no money lying around in need of an investment
then you are not in need of a family office.'
For those that are persuaded by the rationale for multi-family offices there is a plenty of choice with more than 100 independent firms in Europe alone.
但很难在获得充分信息后再做选择，因为现在没有一家独立的机构来评估多户理财室的表现。不过Asset Risk Consultants对很多财富管理机构都有跟踪，其中包括一些多户理财室，它有自己的私人客户指数，倒是能让身在英国的人们体察到某些真相。
But making an informed choice can be difficult. There is no independent body that evaluates the performance
of multi-family offices, although Asset Risk Consultants, which tracks the portfolios of many wealthmanager
s - including some multi-family offices - does offer some insights for those based in the U.K. through its private client
多户理财室的投资眼光常常比传统财富管理机构放得更远，所以去年股市反弹的时候，它们错过了一些机会。苏黎士多户理财室Marcuard Family Office说，其中等风险投资组合在去年平均增值12%；相比之下，摩根士丹利资本国际世界指数(MSCI World Index)实现了30%的增长。
Multi-family offices often have a longer-term investmenthorizon
than more traditionalwealthmanager
s. This resulted in some missing
out on the equity
market rebound last year. Marcuard Family Office, a multi-family office based in Zurich, says its medium-risk portfolios were up an average of 12% last year, compared with the 30% achieved by the MSCI World Index.
But it hopes its longer-term perspective
will prove right. 'We like physical
assets, like gold and agricultural
land,' says Jonathan Guest, a partner