A recent study from the London School of Economics explores the emerging trend of the 'family office,': the name given to private, full time funds of the super rich. The study says more attention should be paid to such groups that employ teams of professionals to ensure the safe keeping of the 'dynastic wealth' of the ultra rich.
The study describes how they support a "bunkered" and "fortified" way of life of the "global super-rich". Family offices have grown alongside the concentrations of the ultra-rich in cities such as London - and researchers say they have moved on a step from buying in specialist advisers. These are full-time professional staff, which could include investment experts, property advisers, economists, trust fund advisers and lawyers, who work for a single family, in the way that a corporation might have its own dedicated staff. The study quotes a US report from 2010 that found that 50 of the wealthiest such family offices were looking after $500bn (£407bn). Rather than getting external advice from bankers and financiers, these family offices will keep such information private and in-house.