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About Family Offices / Methodology


The Global Family Office Report uses a mixed method, qualitative and quantitative research approach. In addition to 25 interviews that were conducted with senior family office executives from around the globe, 360 surveys were collected between February and May 2019 from family offices worldwide. In turn, the quantitative findings within this report are relevant from the date of collection.

One caveat to this is, however, the performance data. To ensure that the most up-to-date data was obtained, respondents were asked for their average  performance  for the 12 months prior to their participation in the survey (i.e. Q1/Q2 2018 – Q1/Q2 2019). In previous years, the performance data came from global indices, not directly from family offices, therefore one can expect a degree of variation between the performance figures denoted in this year’s report versus last year’s.

The method for reporting year-on-year data has also been updated. In previous years, the term ‘multiyear participants’ was used to identify statistics that showed  the difference in findings between the present year and the previous year. In doing this, only those family offices which completed the survey for both years were included, which typically amounted to roughly one-third of the overall sample.

In order to increase the sample size to give greater weight to the findings, family offices this year have instead been asked to provide data for both 2018 and 2019.

About Family Offices

A family office is, in its simplest form, the private office for a family of significant wealth. The number of staff working in the office can vary from one or two employees, to 100 or more staff, depending on the type and number of services it provides.

The purpose of an office can range from handling key family assets and core holdings (tax and accountancy, property and estate management) to include more sophisticated wealth management structures, whilst often providing family members with educational, professional and lifestyle services.

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