UBS this week rolled out the Family Office Compass, a strategic toolkit to help ultra-high-net-worth families transfer wealth to the next generation.

The compass, which was developed in conjunction with the Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise, shows families how to set up a state-of-the-art family office, and offers a perspective on a family office’s strategic role beyond traditional and short-term wealth management.

UBS said in a statement that the compass was designed to address one of the major findings of its Global Family Office Report 2016, namely, that 69% of family offices expect a generational transition within the next 15 years, yet only 37% of them believe the next generation wants to shoulder major responsiblity for managing their family’s affairs.

It ascribed the next generation’s reluctance to an inability to identify ways to participate that suit their personal interests and life trajectories, rather than to lack of interest or aptitude.

Many families find it challenging to place trust in potential successors, UBS said. As well, family offices can find it equally demanding to maintain relevance with the younger generation.

It said the compass can help overcome these potential obstacles so that generational transition succeeds and family wealth continues to grow multigenerationally.

“It is crucial for families wanting to create lasting financial success to identify their driving purpose and to formulate an overall family strategy,” John Mathews, head of private wealth management and ultra-high net worth at UBS Wealth Management Americas, said in a statement.

“Clarity of purpose for the family, and in turn, the family office leads to improved performance of the family office over time and increased usefulness to the family. This compass offers us a detailed road map for a family office to succeed and survive over generations.”

UBS noted that research by Campden Wealth put the global population of single family offices today at 5,300, with more than three-quarters of these located in either North America or Europe, 17% in Asia/Pacific and some 8% in emerging markets.

These offices cater to families with $100 million or more in investable assets.

According to Campden’s estimates, 740 family offices globally are owned by ultra-high-net-worth individuals with assets under management of $1 billion or more in investable wealth. Of these, 36% are based in North America, 30% in Europe, 24% in Asia/Pacific and 10% in emerging markets.

The UBS/PwC Billionaires Report (2016) found that there are 1,397 billionaires across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Based on this number and its own estimate of billionaire family offices per region, UBS calculated that 65% of European billionaires have a family office, compared with 50% of those based in North America and 34% in Asia/Pacific.

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