Family Office (and Related) Academic Programs
As of July 18, 2021
Select few families now control a disproportionate amount of wealth globally and this wealth, and how it is managed and used, has significant societal implications. Given the wealth-managerial function they play, family offices have an essential responsibility and unique opportunity to assist families in channeling this wealth for good, whether by helping children become responsible stewards of their wealth, investing in game-changing technology, or engaging in meaningful philanthropy and impact investing. The professional maturation of a family office "industry" that includes robust guidance on best practices, expert and peer collaborations, and academic training is therefore of immense importance to families and those who serve and advise them.
Existing Family Office Academic and Related Programs
The closest area of academic focus by most universities today is on issues closely-held family businesses face in leadership, succession, and governance. Many of these schools are incorporating guidance on family office best-practices into their family business programs due to:
The growth in the number of family offices broadly, many of which were established by family businesses;
Significant overlap in the challenges faced and solutions adopted;
Needed research and expertise for a still relatively inchoate industry; and
Opportunities to engage with, assist, and raise awareness with family office industry participants, including principals, practitioners, and advisers.
These schools provide guidance in the area of family office best-practices through several different means:
Offering dedicated family office executive education programs;
Adding family office topics to existing academic and/or executive education programs in family businesses, wealth management, or the law;
Hosting family office practitioner accreditation or certificate programs; and
Establishing family office research centers.
Following is a non-exhaustive list of schools that offer family office studies, programs, and research, either directly or as part of other curricula.