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When do you need a Family Office?

It is common for clients to want to separate their “personal business” affairs from their core business activity.

Whilst we can and do act in both capacities, at Keystone Private, we strongly encourage this separation as it has a number of distinct advantages – they include the fact:

  • That personal assets should only be used for personal gain and not as part of the core business (i.e. it eliminates the competition for capital);
  • It provides a better framework of confidentiality of your personal financial affairs; and
  • Removes potential conflict issues arising with others, including business partners in the core business. 

For example, many CEO’s of publicly listed companies would regard it as improper to have one suite of advisors act for both them personally and for the listed company. Therefore they often would choose to have the listed company serviced by, say, a Big 4 firm, whilst using a multi-family office specialist firm, such as Keystone Private to take care of all their personal and family financial affairs.

This approach also overcomes many clients’ main dilemma – the struggle to deal adequately with their personal assets and wealth management in both the short and long term, because all of their energy and time is absorbed in the core business. Wealthy families and individuals often raise serious concerns about the state of their personal affairs, given the various demand on their time.

What is a Multi-Family Office?

The term is not well understood in Australia yet, but is gathering momentum as “Family Offices” are arguably one of the fastest-growing advisory and investment service models in the world today. More and more families are seeing the value in setting up an arrangement, tailor-made to meet their needs, through a Family Office environment.

Some people (wrongly) believe that you need to be super-wealthy to afford using the services of a Family Office, such as Keystone Private.

As a client of Keystone Private, your needs can be as simple as ensuring all compliance obligations are taken care of (e.g. BAS, annual tax returns, super, etc.) and some regular reporting back to you is in place, so you know how things are going – you then have the peace of mind that your personal affairs are being managed to the highest level, thereby allowing you the time and energy to focus on your core business or other personal interests.

As mentioned above, it is a service model designed specifically to meet your personal needs – perhaps it is looking after a few rental properties, a share portfolio, sourcing for you the appropriate legal advice to get your will and estate planning up to speed. It can even be basic regular bill paying on your behalf if that makes life easier for you.

As is the case with some clients, we simply act as the experienced, independent and objective “trusted advisor” – a voice at the other end of the phone to provide you with a second opinion or for you to bounce ideas off. For some, this is an invaluable service offering, and obviously can be provided in conjunction with our many other services.

Notwithstanding the above, in our experience, the more sophisticated and wealthy the personal state of your financial affairs becomes, the more likely it is that you would need to start to consider some other services, which we provide for a number of our clients. These might include the following:

  • Corporate governance and risk management issues for family groups;
  • Estate and succession planning/family continuity considerations;
  • Review of current legal and asset protection structures, and amending where necessary;
  • Appointment of a suitable financial advisor on asset investment;
  • Setting investment goals and having a proper “investment charter” to do so;
  • Philanthropic endeavours and how best to implement them and manage them;
  • Proper cash flow management for both personal and financial pursuits.

This is just a handful of considerations as your needs and personal financial circumstances change. Keystone Private is very comfortable and skilled in dealing with all of these and other relevant issues for our clients – our aim is to provide you with a safe and experienced pair of hands, thereby putting order, certainty and peace of mind into the state of your personal affairs.

David Jackson