Banks up their efforts to attract family office clients

Photo by ultramarine5/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by ultramarine5/iStock / Getty Images

Some of the world’s biggest banks are upping their family office efforts as wealth managers see the sector growing rapidly in the years ahead.

Morgan Stanley announced earlier this month it is setting up a 66-person group called Morgan Stanley Family Office Resources to attract more family office clients. The new service will work with Morgan Stanley’s wealthiest clients, according to an internal memo. The team will help clients with estate planning, family governance, asset allocation and portfolio strategy, said the memo. The new initiative looks to be building on the efforts the bank has already made with family offices for many years, but shows the Wall Street bank sees the sector as increasingly lucrative.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Singapore, the wealth management arm of Singapore based OCBC Bank, is also growing its family office business. The expanded family office business will focus on the richest families, especially from China, Europe and the Middle East who are looking to invest in Singapore, according to media reports.

Also, at the beginning of the year, Credit Suisse hired Alexandra Dhavernas von Elverfeldt to grow its engagement with family offices. Dhavernas von Elverfeldt is a specialist in family offices and family businesses, having worked with various family offices and investment banks in the past.

A statement from Credit Suisse said Dhavernas von Elverfeldt: “Will advise them (the bank’s wealthiest clients) on investment topics, as well as strategic and governance aspects, while helping them to navigate areas of growing interest and importance, such as impact investing and the wealth transfer to the next generation.”

A growing number of the world’s biggest banks see family offices as a lucrative revenue source. Banks like Citigroup, UBS and Goldman Sachs have led the charge for many years. These banks and others with investment banking arms can work with family offices both from the perspective of the personal wealth requirements of the families behind the family office, but also on the institutional side, providing investment banking services like co-investment opportunities and capital raising support for family offices.