Family Assets Consultancy and Strategic Planning

A “Family Office” is a professional structure, usually independent in nature, initially dedicated to business families with consistent and diversified assets acting as a coordinating and uniting element of their assets.

Subsequently, it is also an organizational modality for the individual wealth of sportsmen, artists, connoisseurs, professionals and researchers in general.

The management, protection, preservation and increase of family and/or individual wealth by means of a Family Office is indeed a true organisational model seeking to achieve efficiency and maximum performance.

Such organisational model developed strongly in the United States at the beginning of last century and it was then gradually imported into Europe. Starting in the 1990’s it spread to Italy as well, albeit with systems that can be further improved.

Family Offices were initially set up to meet the needs of the so-called “Ultra High Net Worth Individuals” (UHNWs) in conformity with the objectives set by the family to achieve maximum performance. Later, leaner organizational models were introduced for those with less assets.

Its organisational activity requires a high level of specialization and a customized offer for each individual family or individual, to be studied and guided by top quality professional figures.

There is no compulsory legal framework for Family Offices in Italy. Depending on their mission they may be independent or the result of different types of corporate structures within the existing family assets, depending on the mission and type of organization one wishes to set up.

The Family Office also assists the family or the individual in the organization and care of the family, cultural, sports, professional and/or business assets (i.e it does not offer solely financial consultancy, it is more structured and is growth- oriented) with the objective of preserving wealth over time, finding the most efficient modalities for the transfer of the wealth to the heirs by means of an appropriate asset planning as well as the definition of a long term family strategy by fixing a maximum financial “risk budget” for each generation.

In addition to the normal risk management assistance and consultancy, wealth management, corporate finance and other administration services, including non financial activities such as the management of relations between family members, it also plays an important role in monitoring the intermediaries and periodically informs the family or the individual in a structured manner of the performance, flows and costs (both explicit and implicit) of their investments.

Family Offices also offer support in asset investment/disinvestment/division decisions and in the selection of the most appropriate professionals capable of responding to any structural as well as any financial need of the family.

In the wealth management framework and most precisely in asset allocation, art investments have acquired great importance, including for diversification purposes, since its curve is not influenced by other market trends (as is the case for raw materials, currencies, bonds and shares). Indeed, it remains positive also during bear markets. The art market, particularly in this historical moment, is an excellent investment opportunity in the mid to long term and may be problematical for non-expert investors. It is for this reason that the vanguard Family Offices have art experts within their structure which thanks to their competence and skills are able to grasp market opportunities quickly.

In the sports sector there are two main trends: the vocation of the “second generation” which loves investing in company structures and often intervenes with the sports-patronage combination and secondly a mission which is more concentrated on the figure of the professional sportsman (both in individual and team sports).

The capacity to manage the transition during every phase of the professional sportsman’s career is the basic element characterising and distinguishing the quality of a Family Office. Indeed, the Family Office’s role is not simply that of taking care of the athlete’s present but also of his future. The athlete and the main figures operating in the sports sector generate assets with their activity and those who are in charge of their management must help – with sensitivity, authoritativeness, charisma and professionalism - during every single phase of the athlete’s professional career to avoid athletes’ greatest nightmare scenario: “that of dying penniless” as is often the case according to the statistics.
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