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Family Office

A family office manages the financial and personal needs of a wealthy family. They are especially suitable for international families with a long-term vision who want their wealth and values to pass to future generations. Often such families have diversified private fortunes accumulated over many years, which have complex multijurisdictional aspects. They may also involve quite complicated family situations.

The purpose of a family office is to centralise the management of the family's assets within a private, professionally staffed, tax efficient structure, with defined decision making and reporting lines to appropriate family members. The staff are committed to always acting in the best interests of the family and have no conflicts of interest. They assist in solving problems, are an impartial guide and a source of reliable and dispassionate advice. At the correct time, they also help in nurturing junior members of the family to gradually take a more active role in its financial affairs.

Hansard, as an independent owner-managed company, is able to appreciate the issues that face families who are, or have been, the owners of a business. We have no financial ties with any bank, broker or other financial institution and are therefore free to choose the most efficient and economical, or one with which a family already has a good relationship. Hansard has its own in-house legal counsel and tax consultant, but will obtain independent advice on complex issues where this is appropriate. We are also very happy to work with a family's existing advisors.

The legal structure of the family office will depend on such factors as the complexity of the family's financial affairs; the tax domicile and residence of its principle members; the level of asset protection that may be required; and most importantly the wishes of the family itself. It will often involve the creation of one or more trusts or foundations with underlying companies incorporated in tax efficient jurisdictions. This may involve the establishment of a private trust company, a protected cell company or a foundation. It can also accommodate the philanthropic wishes of the family. The assets managed would typically be cash, quoted investments and real property, but will often extend to private companies and other asset classes such as art and antiques, yachts and planes.

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