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Defining the purpose of your family office is like setting the compass for your journey. It’s all about determining the core objectives and goals that your family office will strive to achieve. In the first part of our How to Start a Family Office blog series, we will explore the significance of defining the purpose of your family office and delve into the key considerations that will shape its mission.  

In his book, Start with Why, Simon Sinek says,

“All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year”.

Keeping the purpose of your family office clear helps maintain long-term orientation to the goal, get strategic direction, and engage stakeholders through a shared purpose. It allows family offices to differentiate themselves, create lasting impact, and sustain their greatness over time.

Here are some key points to consider when defining the purpose of your family office:  


Wealth Preservation and Growth 

If the primary purpose of your family office is to preserve and grow the family’s wealth over generations, your office may be involved in developing family office investment strategies, managing assets, and implementing wealth transfer plans.  

Family Governance and Communication 

If your family office focuses on establishing governance structures and facilitating effective communication among family members, it will create family constitutions, organise family meetings, and foster intergenerational wealth education.  

Philanthropic Endeavours 

A survey by Ocorian showed that 91% of family office professionals said charitable giving will increase over the next three years. If your family office has a philanthropic mission, you need to decide if it will support charitable causes, establish a foundation, or engage in impact investing to make a positive social or environmental impact.   


define purpose of family office


Lifestyle and Concierge Services  

Consider whether your family office will offer bespoke lifestyle services to cater to the unique needs of family members. These services may encompass aspects like personalised travel arrangements, efficient household management, and comprehensive educational support for family members. 

Family Legacy and Succession Planning 

If your family office plays a role in preserving and perpetuating the family’s legacy, it will be involved in developing succession plans, mentoring the next generation, and documenting family history and values.  

Risk Management and Asset Protection  

Your family office can focus on mitigating risks and protecting the family’s assets through comprehensive risk management strategies, insurance coverage, and legal structures.  

Specialised Services 

Your family office can also offer specialised services tailored to your family’s unique needs, such as tax planning, estate planning, legal advice, or family business support.  

Why Your Family Office Needs a Purpose 

Defining the purpose of your family office is crucial as it establishes a guiding vision and mission. This clarity enables effective decision-making, efficient resource allocation, and the selection of suitable services and professionals. It is essential to involve key stakeholders such as family members and trusted advisors in this process for long-term success. By collectively defining the purpose of a family office, you can lay a solid foundation, enabling it to navigate challenges, achieve its goals, and create a legacy for generations to come. 

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