The family office concept mach its appearance in the second half of the XIXth century in the United States of America. Families like the Rockefeller, the Whittier or the Pitcairn, established appropriate structures to control some aspects of their estate management themselves. The first "single family office" were born. These were 100% family owned structures mainly managed by one or several family members and, dedicated to a full range of tasks including portfolio management, asset allocation, banking supervision consolidated reporting, performance attribution, legal and fiscal charities policies and management as well as the family-owned real estate property and asset management.
Sometimes, several families gathered together as part of a "multi-family office" that they own and manage in their common interest.
Family office services are intended for families who wish to maintain a long-term value of their heritage and especially for those who consider family cohesion as an objective in itself.
A requirement: creativity, neutrality and integrity. Management of a complex estate can in no way be considered as a repetitive technique which would find its substance in a set of stereotyped rules or recipes. These structures rely on their internal expertise to provide an irreproachable service in a total impartiality.