Category: Family Offices

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Segregating Custody of Family Office Assets

Our previous post discussed how a family office registered as an investment adviser (RIA) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act) might underestimate the scope of its custody of family assets for purposes of Rule 206(4)‑2. The problem is that the rule’s definition of custody extends to all funds and securities an RIA … Continue Reading

Custody Pitfalls for Family Offices

The staff of the Division of Investment Management (IM) recently issued a flurry of interpretive guidance regarding when advisers are deemed to have custody of their clients’ funds and securities. The guidance covers transfers among a client’s custodial accounts, standing letters of instruction to a custodian, and inadvertent custody under the client’s custodial agreement. The … Continue Reading

How to Sort out the Clients of a Family Office Attorney

Our previous post illustrated ethical quagmires that can result when a staff attorney of a family office tries to negotiate the potentially conflicting interests of the family’s members. This post explains how a well-crafted engagement letter can help an attorney navigate such quagmires through clarity in who is the intended client and who is not. … Continue Reading

Who Is Your Intended?—Defining the Engagement of an Attorney Employed by a Family Office

Family offices continue to multiply and the industry professionals who provide services to them have grown. The typical single-family office has president, a chief operations officer, a chief investment officer and a chief financial officer. In many cases, the office may employ one or more lawyers on staff. Those lawyers may serve the needs of … Continue Reading

Can a Family Office Client Ever Cease to be a “Client;” Can a Non-Family Third Party Ever Become a “Client” of a Family Office?

The Family Office Rule states that a family office cannot have any clients other than family clients. The term “family client” is defined in paragraph (d)(4) of the Family Office Rule to include any family member, any key employee, certain non-profit organizations, certain irrevocable and revocable trusts, and certain wholly-owned companies, all as set forth … Continue Reading

In-Laws and Their Siblings: Part of a “Family Office”?

When the SEC adopted the Family Office Rule to implement Section 409 of the Dodd-Frank Act and exempt a “family office” from the definition of “investment adviser,” it had to provide a definition of “family.” Regrettably, the definition of family member begins with lineal descendants of a common ancestor . That has created unusual problems because, by using that … Continue Reading

Investing in Private Funds: Conflicting Definitions of “Family”

Family Offices frequently acquire interests in private funds as part of the family office asset allocation process. Private funds have to be certain of the validity of their ability to rely on an exclusion from the definition of “investment company.” The Family Office Rule under the Investment Advisers Act has a detailed definition of “family member” … Continue Reading
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