The world of family offices has gone academic - or at least is being intellectualized. Early this year, a quarterly publication called the International Family Office Journal was launched by UK specialist publisher Global Law and Business to cover all things family offices in long-form articles.
“The IFO Journal came out of the success of the book ‘Family Offices: The STEP Handbook for Advisers’, published in 2015 by Globe Law and Business (in association with STEP) in London,” says Barbara Hauser, the editor of the new publication. “Due to the success of the book and favourable reviews, the publishers began to explore the need for more substantive information about family offices. They felt a quarterly serious journal, with no investment sponsor or advertisers could reach that market.”
Hauser, who is based in the US, adds that the journal was also inspired by the rapid growth in family offices in recent years and the need for more detailed analysis and thinking on them. “The change in the perception and availability of traditional private banking sectors, and the increasing sophistication of wealthy families, both drive this predictable and sustained growth,” she says. “For families with wealth, the many benefits of having their own family office, with the dedication of loyalty to them and their interests, will continue to drive this fascinating industry.”
Hauser certainly has the credentials to edit a journal on family offices. She’s been a senior lawyer for many years and has worked with wealth owners across the globe. Hauser has also written many articles related to family offices and family wealth.
The IFO Journal covers multi- and single-family offices. “In each issue we profile a family office, rotating between single-family offices and multi-family offices. So far, we have included offices from London, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia and Guatemala.”
The Journal has an editorial board of eleven, made up the great and the good of the advisory world in the sector, as well as representatives from family offices themselves.
The editorial emphasis is a broad one, says Hauser, but with less focus on investment products. “Each issue includes at least six very substantive articles, written by experts in their fields,” says Hauser. The latest issue (September) has essays about the rewards in family offices, the wealth management sector in Switzerland, and a profile on a Canadian multi-family office called Northwood, among detailed pieces.
“In addition, we include a ‘luxury corner’ section,” says Hauser, which has looked at the international transport of art, champagne houses, and luxury watches. Then there is the dry stuff. “We also include a number of the special tax and legal updates, provided by STEP,” says Hauser.
For those in the world of family offices, the journal will no doubt provide a very useful source of information on their sector.