The North America Family Office Report 2023

The North American landscape

Family offices continue to evolve and seek innovative ways to navigate an uncertain environment. The 2023 North America Family Office Report explores this journey by examining 144 family offices across Canada and the United States, offering comparisons to global peers.

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Learn more about trends impacting family offices, including strategy shifts, private markets, cost control and effectiveness, new technologies, and succession planning.

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The landscape of family offices in North America continue to evolve, with many evaluating their investment strategies and opportunities to drive cost savings and effectiveness in current market environments.

Key themes Strategy shifts Private markets Costs and effectiveness Technology Succession planning

Strategic shifts mirroring markets

Changing market conditions, with the average asset return for 2023 a modest 1 percent (compared to 15 percent last year), have prompted North American family offices to take a more conservative stance with their investment strategies.

Thirty-eight percent of family offices are now focused on growth, compared to 48 percent two years ago. Eighteen percent have adopted wealth preservation strategies, compared to 13 percent in the same time frame in 2022.

Continued confidence in private markets

Private market investments are now the largest-held asset class for North American family offices.

This builds on trends of recent years, with average portfolio share up two percent from the year prior to 29 percent for private markets.

Looking ahead, 41 percent of  family offices intend to increase their private equity fund position and 32 percent plan to bolster the investments in direct private equity.

Managing costs and effectiveness

In response to fluctuating markets, North American family offices are showing firmer cost control.  

Compared to 2022, family offices are spending 22 percent less (averaging USD 5.7 million) by reducing discretionary expenditure and staff remuneration.

Despite the average CEO compensation being down by roughly 20 percent, 79 percent of family offices feel they are effective in ensuring that individuals in leadership positions are capable, while 78 percent feel effective in their ability to make informed decisions.

Early adopters of future technologies

Several North American family offices are exploring the use of wealth aggregation platforms to provide an overview of their organization’s holistic financial position.

While the adoption rate of these platforms is currently at 38 percent, this is expected to rise in the coming years.

Thirty-one percent of family offices are actively seeking to expand their involvement in artificial intelligence, with an additional 14 percent planning to initiate an exposure to this technology.

Prioritizing earlier succession planning

Many North American family offices feel earlier succession planning is needed and plan to introduce the next generation to family values (92 percent) by encouraging interactions with the family office and leadership (84 percent).

Earlier planning will help the 54 percent who feel the next generation is inadequately qualified or the 46 percent who feel they are too young to assume immediate leadership roles.

Addressing these sensitive concerns will be comfortable for some senior family members (33 percent) and harder for those whose family leaders are unwilling to cede control (29 percent).

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Explore past reports

Review the trends that impacted North American family offices in recent years.

Read our 2022 report

Read our 2021 report

Read our 2020 report