Family offices are booming - the represent trillions in assets, and the biggest now compete with major venture capital and private equity firms on big transactions. And the number of family offices has grown rapidly, with approximately 2/3 of known family offices being created after the year 2000.
The fo has its roots in the organisations that oversaw the fortunes of America’s 19th-century robber barons, such as J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. Several hundred have been in operation for at least three generations. Some now serve extended families with hundreds of members—over 600 in the case of France’s Mulliez clan, owners of the Auchan hypermarket chain. Most, however, are recent creations. Of the 311 family offices that took part in the survey for the latest annual Global Family Office Report by ubs and Campden Wealth, published in September, more than two-thirds were established after 2000 (see chart 1) and over half are serving the first generation of wealth.