The number of single family office in North America grew by 41% over the past two years, according to a recent report from Campden Research.
The 3,100 North American offices represent 42% of the estimated 7,300 family offices worldwide, according to the report. Europe has the next largest number, 2,300, followed by Asia/Pacific with 1,300 offices and emerging markets with 600 offices.
Growth in the family office space in North America since 2017 came during the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, according to Campden Wealth’s director of research, Rebecca Gooch.
This has led to an increase in ultra-wealthy individuals, who are increasingly establishing family offices in order to assume greater control over their investments, Gooch said in a Campden newsletter article summarizing the report.
Some wealth holders also favor family offices because they enable them to reduce costs by cutting out middle men/women and provide services in-house, she said.
The report estimated that family offices have a total of $5.9 trillion under management, while the wealth of the families behind them totals some $9.4 trillion.
Asia/Pacific also experienced rapid growth in single family offices since 2017, 44%, according to the report. Gooch said surging business growth has resulted in a big increase in the region’s ultra-high-net-worth population.
This is coupled with growing sophistication of family office hubs, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, which are pulling in wealth holders. Gooch said Singapore’s success owes in part to favorable financial incentives, as well as to a stable government and fair legal, regulatory, tax and immigration systems.
Another factor that has contributed to growth in Asia/Pacific is a generational transfer of control by wealth creators. A byproduct of this transition is a shift in some families from a growth-oriented investment model to a preservation-oriented one.