Signature Access

Governance and Compensation Considerations for the Single Family Office

Gain insight into the governing bodies, strategies and pay structures that affluent families are using to oversee and advise their family offices.

Do your family office governance structures allow you to make the most strategic decisions possible?

The processes that affluent families use to make key decisions and convey them to their family offices are of crucial importance—not only to the proper functioning of the office, but to the preservation of unity within the family. Find out which governing bodies, strategies and compensation practices are most common today in Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management’s 2021 Single Family Office Governance and Compensation Report.

Among the key findings:

  • 81% of family office respondents use some form of formalized governance structure, with standalone investment committees and boards of directors being the two most prevalent.
  • Of the 19% of respondents not utilizing a formal structure, almost all noted that governance was important and acknowledged the need to adopt a more formalized approach.
  • Following public company trends, families are compensating governance members primarily through annual retainers vs. meeting fees.

The findings are based on responses from 75 family offices of various sizes across the United States. Download the report below—or request a copy from your Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Advisor or Financial Advisor—for more insight on how families can establish productive governance practices to support harmonious decision-making.

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Swing for the Fences Article

Gain insight into the governing strategies that families are using to oversee their family offices

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The report was produced by Morgan Stanley Single Family Office Advisory, part of the Signature Access platform within Family Office Resources, in collaboration with Botoff Consulting.

Part of Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, Single Family Office Advisory provides customized resources to single family offices as well as families who are considering establishing one. Working with the Family Governance & Wealth Education team, this group helps families maximize the value of their human capital by preserving their shared values and creating an enduring family legacy.

Learn more about Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management.


This document was produced by BOTOFF CONSULTING for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”) and the opinions expressed herein are those of BOTOFF CONSULTING as of the date of writing and are subject to change. It has been prepared solely for information purposes and for the use of the recipient(s). It does not constitute a request nor an offer or recommendation by or on behalf of Morgan Stanley to any person to buy or sell any particular investment product or to participate in any other transactions. BOTOFF CONSULTING is not an affiliate, subsidiary or in any way related to Morgan Stanley.

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