The Canadian Single Family Office: Defining what is inherently unique

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It is not known exactly how many individual family offices exist. When we look at Canada and consider that only billionaires or families with investable assets of at least $ 100 million can afford the cost of this model, it is tempting to say that we at least know that there are only that many individual family offices there how there are families who meet these criteria. Just like in the industry itself, this may not be as clear as it seems.

Let’s look at some examples for individual family offices. Although the family office industry is not new, it is poorly defined. There are good reasons for this, as serving a single family means that these organizations should reflect the family’s particular circumstances. Single family offices are inherently unique in the same way that no two families are alike.

As a family’s wealth and complexity increase, it makes sense for the family to turn to a trusted advisor to centralize the management of their family’s affairs. Creating a single family office can be the ideal solution for these families. Wealth management is the cornerstone of the family office, and it’s not uncommon for this trusted advisor to be an investment manager, accountant, or attorney. While this is by no means negligible, it is clear that the resulting costs for this level of single family office can be borne by families below the $ 1 billion threshold.

At the other end of the scale of single family offices are Bayshore Global Management, the single family office of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. With a net worth of $ 86.5 billion, according to Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List, at the time of writing, you can be confident that Brin’s single family office will far outperform a single trusted advisor. As reported by Bloomberg News last month, Bayshore Global Management has multiple offices around the world and recently expanded into Singapore. In view of such a divergence in the organizations that operate as single family offices around the world, we want to identify the staples of a single family office.

1. Serving a single family

The distinguishing feature of a single family office is in its name – it serves a single family.

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