There has been much talk over the past ten months about the world “on pause,” but the truth is that for many of us life has never been busier. For family offices and the clients they care for it has been certainly more difficult to manage, especially since most of those clients’ concerns are spread out across the country and/or overseas. Yes, the theaters have gone dark, but the show – including the management of business affairs and the preservation of physical assets – must go on.
On the upside, these unprecedented challenges have also presented an opportunity for family offices to uplevel the services they provide. This includes an expansion from traditional wealth management and estate planning into lifestyle management.
Technology is essential to meeting these evolving needs. All-in-one solutions, for example, offer an impressive array of features guaranteed to streamline lifestyle management for both family offices and their clients. Central to such solutions is the ability to create an inventory – complete with photos, videos and documentation – of physical assets.
These platforms also serve as a communications hub around this inventory, allowing offsite estate or property managers to more easily oversee daily tasks and special events anywhere in the world. Within the app these managers, principals and trusted vendors can interface around everything from major home renovations to regular maintenance and payment schedules. In addition, anyone with administrative rights can reorder “consumable assets,” which can include everything from favorite foods and fresh flower deliveries to the cleaning products used by household staff. They can more also easily manage travel logistics, including the retrieval of clothing from various residences and storage facilities; the packing and shipment of luggage; and the navigating of Covid-related restrictions while en route or upon arrival at the destination point.
Most importantly, such solutions facilitate transparent communication amongst family members – which is one of the primary purposes of any family office. Relatives and other stakeholders can engage with each other in real time and in one secure location, without having to comb through lengthy email threads and potentially running the risk of missed information and misunderstandings.
Finally, technology also allows family offices to uplevel the financial services they already provide. With twenty-four-hour access to information about assets and their fluctuating value, principals are empowered to make informed decisions about acquisition and divestiture, as well as their overall wealth management strategy. This week, it was announced the first rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine is being rolled out in the UK, with staggered rollouts in the U.S. soon to follow. With the end of the pandemic potentially in sight, this is the perfect time for family offices to fully integrate technology into their lifestyle management services. This way, when the Broadway comes back to life and vacations and galas resume, they’ll be able to hit the ground running.