Despite their recent meteoric rise in popularity recently, family offices are nothing new and neither are the networking associations established to support them. While family offices have traditionally operated in isolation, as many of them increasingly move out of the shadows and engage on a more public platform, their need for more knowledge-sharing has risen too, encouraging many of these organisations to step up their game. For anyone engaging with family offices in 2023 – be it a new wealth owner looking to start their own family office or new-breed firms operating in the public eye – there’s strength in numbers and here’s a look at how family office network groups are helping to shape the industry.
Historically, these networking groups did as it says on the tin – they focused on peer-to-peer networking for members of the family office industry. Everyone knows the value of ‘who you know’, which is what these groups are mostly founded on. But in the last few years, as the family office space has evolved, so too has this community of groups. Beyond just networking, many of these networks have responded to growing industry demands, meaning some have expanded into the other jobs that family offices need to get done – including knowledge (data & benchmarking), various services, and providing investment opportunities, alongside their tried-and-trusted connectivity efforts.
Joining the right group
When looking for the best suited group to join, there are various aspects to consider.
Target Membership Audience
Organizations could be focussed more on the individual wealth owners, or principals or the management working for the family office. This is an important distinction to consider as this will obviously impact who one is able to connect with.
This is probably one of the hottest topics when looking at different organizations. Is there a membership fee or do they charge sponsors who then in turn present to the members? Is it funded by the traditional buy- or the sell-side of the business. This is something to gain clarity on within initial conversations with the membership administration to ensure expectations are aligned.
At its core, networking is the basis of building trusted long-term connections, yet the fragmented market and private nature of family offices tends to make networking challenging, let alone finding the right groups to join. The groups that focus on developing networks and connections are well-versed in bringing people together. Some provide platforms beyond the in-person opportunities for family offices to connect with one another, as well as relevant service providers, through educational events and conferences.
Many of the networking groups goes the extra mile to connect family offices for the purpose of co-investing by sharing investment opportunities in innovative and public and private companies. This could be on a structured deal-sharing basis or more informal with members syndicating opportunities amongst themselves. There can be value in this but needless to say will have to be approached with the necessary due process and due diligence.
Knowledge and data
It’s no secret that trustworthy, comparable data and deep knowledge in the family office industry is still hard to come by. With increased sharing of knowledge comes better benchmarking and an opportunity for family offices to learn how other industry leaders are operating.
If comparable data is one of the reasons to join a group, it’s important to look at the geo- and demographics of the members to ensure that the data & insights will be relevant.
Industry knowledge is one thing, but knowing what to do with it is an entirely different beast. Finding providers of niche services and even potential hires could be another reason to join a network.
Many of these networking groups have also expanded their offering to include specialised consulting and advisory services, providing family offices with tailored guidance on investment strategies, risk management, governance, and other critical areas of wealth management.
A selection of organizations
In short, no family office is (or should be) an island and for those looking to set themselves up for success, strength lies in numbers. Transparency and open communication are cornerstones of the family office of the future, and here is a selection of organizations.
SFO Alliance, Global
- Who is the group for? Single family offices.
- What is the entry criteria? $400 million+ in size.
- What is the value proposition? A single family office peer-to-peer network for sharing insights and discussing investment opportunities.
- Visit SFO Alliance website.
Global Partnerships Family Office (GPFO), UK and USA
- Who is the group for? Principals, Family members, Executives and Advisors of Single Family Offices & Private Multi-Family Offices
- What is the value proposition? Deal flow and access peer-to-peer co-investments in a private environment.
- How much is the membership? £ 1,100 per year.
- Visit the GPFO website.
FORCE Family Office, USA
- Who is the group for? Family offices.
- What is the value proposition? FORCE is a network of family offices in the United States focussed mainly on deal sharing.
- Visit FORCE website.
Institute for Private Investors (IPI), Global
- Who is the group for? Ultra-high-net-worth investors.
- What is the entry criteria? Minimum of $30 million in assets.
- What is the value proposition? Non-commercial investor education, in-person networking and an online community to over 1000 ultra-high-net-worth investors from over 30 countries and 41 U.S states.
- How much is the membership? From $11,900 per year.
- Visit the IPI website.
Family Office Exchange, Global
- Who is the group for? Family members, family office executives, and advisors.
- What is the value proposition? The FOX peer community includes over 300 multi-generational family groups from more than 25 countries.
- Visit Family Office Exchange website.
FORGE Family Office, Global
- Who is the group for? Single family office professionals including principals and family members
- What is the value proposition? Backed by Fidelity – they are a non-commercial, peer-to-peer network of single family offices with an online platform.
- How much is the membership? No fees.
- Visit FORGE website.
Club B, Global
- Who is the group for? Single-family office principals and executives.
- What is the value proposition? Part of Realvision. Educational content and a private forum for collaboration to exchange ideas and opportunities.
- Visit Club B website.
PWN, Australia and Global
- Who is the group for? Mostly family businesses and wealth owners.
- What is the value proposition? To encourage members to engage with their wealth positively and create a meaningful impact.
- Visit PWN website.
Family Wealth Alliance, USA
- Who is the group for? Mainly multi-family office professionals.
- What is the value proposition? Backed by Schwab. The only membership organization focused exclusively on North American multifamily wealth firms.
- Visit Family Wealth Alliance website.
The Family Office Association (TFOA), USA
- Who is the group for? Single family offices.
- What is the value proposition? World-class educational content, unique networking opportunities and exceptional thought leadership.
- Visit TFOA website.
The Global Family Office Community, Global
- Who is the group for? Family office principals, next-gens, and executives.
- What is the value proposition? Trusted private community, where ideas, best-practice, and experiences are shared, and lasting friendships are forged.
- Visit The Global Family Office Community website.
TIGER 21, Global Chapters
- Who is the group for? UHNW investors and entrepreneurs.
- What is the value proposition? A confidential community that enables ultra-high-net-worth individuals to learn from each other to navigate the issues and opportunities that stem from success.
- How much is the membership? $30,000/year.
- Visit TIGER 21 website.
- Who is the group for? UHNW individuals (no family office executives or representatives).
- What is the entry criteria? $100 AUM.
- What is the value proposition? Chapter meetings in the US. Provide an oasis for “restless victors,” exceptionally accomplished people who want to grow wealthy across the full spectrum of human capital.
- How much is the membership? $180K for 3 years.
- Visit R360 website.
Young Presidents’ Organization, Global
- Who is the group for? Chief Executives.
- What is the value proposition? The world’s largest leadership community of chief executives — over 30,000 extraordinary global members, coming together to become better leaders and better people.
- How much is the membership? $12,000 per year.
- Visit Young Presidents’ Organization website.
Family Business Network (FBN), Global
- Who is the group for? Family businesses.
- What is the value proposition? Provide business families with a safe space to learn from each other about how to guide family involvement in business, and facilitate relationships.
- Visit FBN website.
- Who is the group for? Investors.
- What is the value proposition? An invitation-only community of private investors sharing deals, insights, and contacts.
- Visit 3i website.
Long Angle, Global
- Who is the group for? High Net Worth Investors & family offices
- What is the value proposition? Providing networking, events, community, deals, benchmarks and recommendations to a community of high net worth investors.
- Visit Long Angle website.