In the premiere episode of our new Family Office Vlog Series, Peter Harper (CEO and Managing Director) will introduce us into what a family office is and why it is vital for private clients looking to secure the management and legacy of their wealth.


Peter Harper: Hey, guys. (This is) Peter Harper, Managing Director and CEO of the Asena Family Office. For those of you who are not familiar with the business or a multi-family office, we advise foreign family offices and private clients on US direct deals and mergers and acquisitions.

Peter Harper: So today, I wanted to just touch on the definition of a family office. And the reason why I wanted to revisit this is (that) recently, I was on a call with another advisor. The opportunity was referred to through me from one of the top US private banks, you know, (as) we get a bunch of referrals from banking referral partners. And the question was posed quite cynically, I might add, is, “What is a family office anyway?” Right? 

Peter Harper: And I think whenever I hear that question, my immediate reaction is that the person I’m speaking to is kind of threatened by or has had no meaningful interaction with the family office to truly understand what it means to be one, right? And there are multiple facets as to what one means today.

Peter Harper: And the two more important things (are as followed): the first, which is probably more obvious for a lot of folks, is an individual who’s had material success needs a team of people to drive their private investments; (overall), to manage and drive their private investments. So what that looks like is how you would approach a normal business: you’d have a C-suite, a team of people across tax accounting, legal investments, (and) people management to go off and execute on the founder or family success, right? So the normal sort of economic business apparatus to drive the family forward.

Peter Harper: But in my opinion, the most integral piece, right, because in that same question, “What is a family office?”, you know, (conjures the image of) a traditional trusted advisor who is sitting next to a patriarch or an individual. So that one person would say, “Well, all that individual needs is a good advisor, one person to help them drive that forward.”

Peter Harper: The thing that that person’s missing is that without the right framework for a family office apparatus, (then) we feel it’s almost guaranteed that the family money is going to be dispersed on the demise of that individual, right? And the reason for that is there is no family buy-in for future generations to actually help the founder or the patriarch/matriarch build a long-term legacy.

Peter Harper: So, in my opinion, the single most important thing that defines a family office is how they think about legacy, how they think about the concentration and management and value of wealth across multiple generations. So across 100 to 200 years, right?

Peter Harper: And the only way that families can sustain a family office for a long period of time is if future generations care about things other than just money. They care about the family, and they understand why it’s important to keep the family together and flourish and grow as a family. 

Peter Harper: Cheers, guys.


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Peter Harper