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Insights from The Complete Family Office Handbook:
Why Family Offices Need a Blueprint


Kirby Rosplock, the opening keynote speaker at the marcus evans Elite Summit 2014, discusses what inspired her to write a comprehensive guide for family offices and their advisors.

Interview with: Kirby Rosplock, Author of, The Complete Family Office Handbook ~ A Guide for Affluent Families and the Families Who Serve Them, published by Wiley/Bloomberg, 2014


The family office can protect a wealthy family from numerous risks, and one of the most critical tasks for a family office is to create a baseline of information about who the family is, what it owns and what it wishes to do with the wealth, says Kirby Rosplock, author of The Complete Family Office Handbook.

A speaker at the marcus evans Elite Summit 2014, taking place in Montreux, Switzerland, 16-18 June, Rosplock explains what inspired her to write the book based on her own family going through a significant liquidity event, and her ten years as director of research and development with a prominent US-based multi-family office. Rosplock wished there was a guide to help her family and others to navigate through major wealth transitions. The handbook was born out of the very pure place of identifying a gap in the literature, the need for a comprehensive layperson guide that was accessible to the family and its advisors, that aggregated key components of how family offices really operate, she elaborates.

What are the key roles of the family office?

The family office tends to wear many hats for the family, from being the primary keeper and executor of transactions and legal documents, a protector and defender mitigating critical risks fending off suitors and solicitors that could jeopardise the well-being of the family, as well as the Brain Trust; a repository and a thinking partner to family members.

However, many family offices are created through the back door, where they are not aware they are in fact setting one up. Then a generation or so down the line, they realise that what originated as their family business has evolved into a family office, yet may lack a clear blueprint or a roadmap for their wealth.

Why is a family office blueprint helpful and how does a family office accomplish this task?

It is like when you are building a house. You do not go to the site with a hammer, nails, wood and just start building. Every builder starts with a blueprint of what they wish to build, an understanding of the proverbial space, the rooms in the house and what sort of foundation is needed to hold it all together.

There are four pillars to a family office blueprint. First, a family review to understand who the members of the family are, mapped in a genogram, interviews with family members to understand their backgrounds, goals and information on their trusted advisory network. Second, an estate plan review clarifies the estate structures in place and the long-term family goals. Third, a financial and investment review brings insights to what is owned, the asset allocation and asset location, risk tolerance and investment preferences and objectives. Finally, an insurance review brings insight to how risks are managed from homes and collectibles to yachts, planes, and the investments, for example. These four reviews are the building blocks for the blueprint as shared in my book.

Some existing family offices may take a step back and understand the vision for the family wealth. It is never too late to revisit how the wealth was created, even if it was done many years before. What is critical is to create that baseline of information about who the family is and what it owns, then conduct a capital sufficiency analysis to bridge the feasibility of achieving the family goals, lifestyle needs and legacy aspirations in relation to the family's capital. This is an iterative process, not a one-time exercise. Life events such as a birth, marriage, and/or death and divorce often trigger changes in the plan, and the family office is there to aid families with navigating these changes.

Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

Tel: + 357 22 849 313

About the Elite Summit 2014

The Elite Summit is the premium forum bringing top tier buyers and sellers together. Taking place at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Montreux, Switzerland, 16 - 18 June 2014, the Summit offers the independent advisers of wealthy private investors and international fund and asset managers an intimate environment for a focused discussion of key new drivers shaping wealth management asset allocations. The Summit includes presentations on vision around family wealth, professionalising wealth management services in the age of FATCA, hand-picking the family office location, embracing aggregated reporting and outsourcing the family office CIO role.

For more information please send an email to or visit the event website

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Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world's leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, case studies, roundtables and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit 

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