One size does not fit all: Entrepreneurial families’ reliance on family offices

Wessel, Stephan; Decker, Carolin; Lange, Knut S.G. and Hack, Andreas (2014). One size does not fit all: Entrepreneurial families’ reliance on family offices. European Management Journal, 32(1) pp. 37–45.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2013.08.003

Abstract

Family offices are organisations dedicated to the management of entrepreneurial families’ private wealth. Based on agency theory, we analyse types of family offices with regard to the families’ goals and the control mechanisms used to ensure goal achievement. Family-dominant management and private client structures involve stronger emphasis on non-financial goals in single and multi-family offices than in non-family-dominant management and open client structures. Variations in family involvement, ranging from family dominance to the complete absence of family ownership and/or management, and diverse client structures justify the differential reliance on formal and informal control mechanisms.

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