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Another Report Maps Family Offices Landscape

Editorial Staff, 6 August 2020

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A fresh report has come out to fuel debate on what is the true size of the world's family offices sector, both in terms of specific population and assets under management.

A report stating that there were 7,300 family offices around the world a year ago, rising by 38 per cent over the two years to mid-June 2019, has added to the debate about the exact size of this segment.

A study from Mordor Intelligence LLP, via the Reporterlinker site, said that as of end-June 2019, North America had the largest share of family offices, with 3,100 or 42 per cent of the total, while Asia-Pacific had 1,300 offices, and Europe had 2,300 offices. Emerging markets, consisting of South America, Africa, and the Middle East, were home to 600 family offices.

During the last two years, the number of Asia-Pacific family ­offices rose by 44 per cent, while in North America they grew by 41 per cent and, in Europe by 28 per cent.

(Last year, a report by Campden Research also pegged the total at 7,300 family offices, growing by 38 per cent. The report cited here did not state whether Campden provided content for the study.)

Such data drives debate on how large, in number as well as total assets under management, family offices are. In the case of single family offices, some of them are not closely tracked and tend to be below the media radar – often deliberately so. Highworth Research, which works with WealthBriefing (sister news service to Family Wealth Report), has commented on its estimated size of the European single family office market, for example, and has also provided data on the US SFO market.

In other findings, the report said that average assets under management by a family office stood at $917 million in 2019. The average net worth of such families stands at $1.2 billion. China, India, and other Asia-Pacific countries are becoming increasingly popular for family wealth managers, the report said.

In his comments in July last year, Highworth Research’s founder Alastair Graham noted: “The Single Family Offices Database from Wealthbriefing and Highworth Research, the largest online database of SFOs available, currently holds, both online and in reserve, some 1,400 SFOs in 61 countries outside the US, with an additional 800 held for the US. Knowledge of the multiple sources of the data allows the researchers to be confident that the non-US number will rise to an identified and profiled 2,000 outside the US and approximately the same number within. Therefore, the Wealthbriefing-Highworth Research partnership knows that there are 4,000 SFOs globally which can be identified and reached.”

“From this number the research team can reasonably project that there may be about 2,000 further SFOs that we don’t yet know about.”

To register on the Highworth database for a trial, see here.

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