DJ Van Keuren |

The Reasons Why So Many Family Offices Have Trouble Maintaining A Legacy

4 min read

There are many reasons why so many family offices have trouble maintaining a legacy. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most common factors that contribute to this challenge. By understanding these issues, future generations of family offices will be better equipped to create lasting legacies.

The challenges of managing a family office can be complex and diverse, making it difficult to maintain a legacy.

Managing a family office is no easy task, as the demands are constantly shifting and often complex. Balancing various family investments and financial strategies must be taken into account in order to ensure both the preservation of generational wealth and the continued growth of family assets. This requires a decisive leader, who can not only identify potential risks and opportunities, but also construct a plan to ride out market fluctuations as well as leverage any available resources to maximize returns while keeping in mind the family’s ultimate goal: maintaining a successful legacy that will be passed down through generations. Ultimately, family offices must consider both short-term considerations and long-term objectives to ensure any costs associated with restructuring or changing strategies prove worthwhile.

Many family offices are run by multiple generations, which can lead to conflict and disagreements.

Many family offices are now run by multiple generations of family, which can prove to be a unique challenge as family members with different ideologies and interests can quickly run into disagreements. Despite this additional layer of complexity, family offices offer the opportunity for continuity and protection of generational wealth and family legacies. This hurdle is just one more step for family offices to navigate, however the potential outcomes – with diligent planning and clear decision making – are splendid. Leveraging existing family relationships makes it possible for family office owners to work jointly toward common goals, carrying on their family history and financial accomplishments in a secure environment.

Family offices often have a lot of money, creating temptation and corruption.

Family offices exist to protect family fortunes and pass wealth on to future generations. With such significant financial responsibility – often greatly exceeding the resources of an average family – family offices must also defend against the potential for both temptation and corruption. Despite their wealth, family offices are subject to the same risks as any other entity, should they fail to adhere to mandatory compliance standards or properly monitor individuals in a position of power within their organization. In order to preserve generational wealth and legacy, family offices would be wise to emphasize rigorous accounting procedures that promote transparency and accountability from all employees.

The structure of a family office can be complicated, making it hard to keep track of everything.

To best protect generational wealth and ensure family offices run efficiently, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of the complex structures in place. Regular review and analysis of family office activities can provide clearer insight into day-to-day operations to ensure that family legacies are secured for generations to come. Knowing how family offices function, the best tax strategies, and continually leveraging family values helps create stability for family members regardless of the economic outlook. Family office structures should be built around these long-term objectives.

Family dynamics can be difficult, with members constantly changing roles and responsibilities.

Family dynamics can be complex, changing from family to family, and often transforming over time. As family members rise through the ranks of their chosen fields, generationally-sourced wealth can fuel the growth of family offices. What may have started off as a simple family unit, then grows into an office that provides assets management, estate planning and venture capital investments among many other things all within one family firm. Through this, legacy assets have the potential to grow in a way that benefits every member in multiple ways – such as income or job opportunities – while at the same time establishing a tradition of family values that deeper family dynamics can develop from. Taking advantage of these interconnected family resources allows for a focused mission in managing economic and non-economic networks, opening up opportunities for family members to learn and develop strengths for themselves and for their families as a whole.

Managing a family office can be a challenging job. It requires careful consideration of family dynamics, complex organization, and prevention of conflicts and corruption. In order to create and maintain a successful family office that can last for generations, these difficulties must be acknowledged and appropriately dealt with. Having an experienced team that is prepared for the challenges ahead is essential for any family office that hopes to endure the test of time and create a lasting legacy. Taking the necessary precautions now will ensure that the office operates smoothly for years to come.

DJ Van Keuren​

Named as one of Family Capitals Top 10 U.S. Family Office Real Estate Professionals, one of Trusted Insight's Top 30 Real Estate Investors at a Family Office, and founder of the Family Office Real Estate Institute, Mr. Van Keuren is the Co-Managing Member for Evergreen Property Partners. D.J. has held senior management positions in real estate at several prominent single-family offices. Among them are The Hayman Family (Giorgio Perfume/Giorgio Beverly Hills & Discuss Dental), the Arsenault Family office (Mountain High Yogurt), and acting as the President of real estate for a family member of an owner of an MLB team. Mr Van Keuren is a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council, a frequent writer for Forbes on family office real estate investing, author of "Real Estate Investing for Family Offices," founder of The Family Office Real Estate Insitute, President of the Harvard Real Estate Alumni Organization, and a frequent speaker at family office conferences around the world. In addition, DJ was a Family Wealth Alliance finalist for its Best In Industry Awards for Thought Leadership and Special Industry Contributions awards. He has been published in Forbes, Family Office Elite, Real Asset Advisor, National Real Estate Investor, and Private Wealth and mentioned in The New York Times, PERE, National Real Estate Investor, and Trusted Insight, among others. Mr Van Keuren is a current Advisory Board member for RedSwan CRE, Advisor to Keiretsu Family Office, a member of the GP Advisory Committee to Gated Rentals and a past Stanford Global Family Office Committee member, editorial board member for Real Asset Advisor Magazine, a prior Board Member for the Real Estate Academic Initiative at Harvard. D.J. received his Master's Degree from Harvard University in Management and Finance, attended graduate studies in Real Estate from the NYU Schack Real Estate Institute, and received his B.A. from Ball State University as part of the universities Div IA baseball team.