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The term family office refers to a family-controlled investment group. Even though the Rockefellers are said to have pioneered family offices in the late 19th century, they began becoming popular in the 1980s. In the past decade, the number of superrich families grew very fast and family offices swelled proportionately. According to the Family Office Council, the membership group for family offices, there are three major types: (1) single-family offices (SFOs), (2) private multifamily offices (PMFOs), and (3) asset-gathering multifamily offices. The common theme across the three types of offices is that they manage investments of family wealth rather than institutional assets. They are described below.

Types
The Single-Family Office

An SFO is a private company that manages trusts for a single family. The assets are the family’s ...

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