History of Family Offices

The Origin of Family Offices

The first “family offices” in the U.S. were established in the 19th century by some of the country’s wealthiest industrialists. Dissatisfied by the limited offerings of banks and brokerages, these Gilded Age magnates instead chose to assemble their own teams of experts to oversee their finances.

Over the decades, the idea of bypassing Wall Street caught on with entrepreneurs in technology, financial services, and other industries, and the number of family offices grew. Even as their numbers grew over the years, family offices remained cloistered and closed off from the vast majority of families.

Today, WMS is bringing the benefits of a family office to a wider circle of clients

Definition of Family Office

“Family offices are private wealth management advisory firms that serve wealthy investors. They are different from traditional wealth management shops in that they offer a total outsourced solution to managing the financial and investment side of an affluent individual or family. For example, many family offices offer budgeting, insurance, charitable giving, family-owned businesses, wealth transfer and tax services.

Providing the advice and services for wealthy families under a comprehensive wealth management plan is far beyond the capacity of any one professional advisor. It requires a well-coordinated, collaborative effort by a team of professionals from the legal, insurance, investment, estate, business and tax disciplines to provide the scale of planning, advice and resources needed. Most family offices combine asset management, cash management, risk management, financial planning, lifestyle management and other services to provide each family with the essential elements for addressing the pivotal issues it faces as it navigates the complex world of wealth management.”–Investopedia