The global field of multi-family offices: An institutionalist perspective

Decker, Carolin and Lange, Knut S. G. (2016). The global field of multi-family offices: An institutionalist perspective. Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 21(1) pp. 64–75.



We apply the notion of the organisational field to internationally operating multi-family offices. These organisations specialise on the preservation of enterprising and geographically dispersed families’ fortunes. They provide their services across generations and countries. Based on secondary data of Bloomberg’s Top 50 Family Offices, we show that they constitute a global organisational field that comprises two clusters of homogeneity. Clients may decide between two different configurations of activities, depending on their preferences regarding asset management, resource management, family management, and service architecture. The findings also reveal that multi-family offices make relatively similar value propositions all over the world. The distinctiveness of the clusters within the field is not driven by the embeddedness of the multi-family offices in different national environments or their various degrees of international experience. Rather, it is weakly affected by two out of four possible value propositions, namely the exclusiveness and the transparency of services.

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