Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
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- Are multi-family offices really so different from each other?
Yes. Multi-family offices all vary considerably. They support, for example, only clients from certain countries or with a certain level of wealth. They might not be able to support you in your home language, are often only specialised in some type of services, like real-estate or private-equity, but may prove unable to support you with other services you might require. Therefore the chance is very high that they are not able to support you in the fashion you prefer. And even if they should offer the services you require, again each multi-family office will do so in a completely different manner.
The range and variety of family offices surprises us every day. Not to forget the large number of service providers who call themselves a family office, but in actual fact are not. Read more about this topic in our expert article about multi-family office diversification.
- How independent are the intermediary services of FOSS?FOSS is an integral part of the wealth planning services of Union Bancaire Privée, UBP SA (UBP), a global private bank with headquarters in Switzerland. Neither FOSS nor UBP offer family office services to their clients. FOSS is therefore in an excellent position to advise you fully independently and objectively. We analyse your needs professionally and introduce you to the most suitable multi-family office(s), regardless whether or not those family offices sustain a relationship with UBP. FOSS's independent and unbiased service has been awarded with a Swiss WealthBriefing Award in the category 'Client Initiative' in 2015.
- Does FOSS receive any compensation (retrocession) from family offices for its intermediary services?No. We do not in any way receive financial compensation from the multi-family offices we introduce you to. FOSS operates independently and only gives objective and unbiased advice. We hold the key features of several hundred multi-family offices in our database and will introduce you to a small group of most suitable multi-family office(s), regardless whether or not those family offices already sustain a relationship with FOSS and/or UBP.
- What do I need to provide to engage your services?In our initial contact with you we will create a general understanding of your situation. If we then consider ourselves to be in a position to support you, and in order to accept you as our client, you will need to present us with a copy of your passport and an address verification, which enables us to execute our due diligence.
- How do you support me?You will find more information on our services and process on the ‘our services' page
- Do I need to travel to Switzerland (for meetings) in order to use your services?
Yes. In order to provide you with a professional level of services, we will always like to meet you in person for an interview. In this interview we will map your family situation and the services the multi-family office should provide to you. We will also get a better feeling of 'who you are' and what kind of family office (and its staff) might best fit you. This first interview can take place in Switzerland or abroad. Afterwards we organise visits to several multi-family offices (a beauty-contest) in Switzerland. It is unavoidable for you to come to Switzerland for those visits.
If you would like us to advise you on the establishment of a single-family office, such a meeting can take place in your home country.
- How long does it take to select a suitable family office for me?Selecting a suitable multi-family office does not happen overnight. Depending on your availability the whole process on average takes 2-4 months.
- Is there a corporate brochure describing the services you provide?Yes. If you would like to receive a copy, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- How are you compensated for the services you provide?In order to reduce counterparty risk large wealth should always be spread over several financial institutions (for wealth protection reasons). With that in mind we would, after we have successfully supported you, appreciate it if your multi-family office of choice (and you) would use UBP as one of your banks to custody a part (a certain percentage) of your bankable assets. The multi-family office which you selected can of course manage all your assets on your behalf.
- What is the connection between FOSS and UBP?The services provided by FOSS are part of the wealth planning offering of UBP in Switzerland. You do not need to be a client of UBP in order to use the services provided by FOSS.
- Do FOSS and/or UBP provide multi-family office services?No. Neither FOSS nor UBP provide family office services. We are therefore in a position to give independent and objective advice. FOSS only acts as an intermediary between you and the family offices during the selection process.
- Is the service available for people who are not a client of UBP?Yes. We very gladly provide our services to families who are not a client of UBP.
- Do I first need to become a client of UBP in order to use the services of FOSS?No, this is not necessary.
- How financially stable and secure is UBP?UBP is one of the best capitalised private banks (>25%) of Switzerland (and the rest of the world). The bank is therefore very stable and secure and extremely suitable to use as a custodian bank. As the shares of the bank are all owned by the founding family, UBP and its employees strongly associate with entrepreneurial families (looking for a suitable family office). You will find more details about UBP here.
- Is my data protected?Yes. As employees of UBP we are subject to the Swiss bank secrecy (Art. 47 of the Banking Act). All personal information you provide to us will be stored according to all the requirements which the Swiss financial supervisory authorities have set for Swiss banks. Only you decide if and what kind of personal information will be provided to the family offices.
- Is the FOSS family office database in any other way commercially utilised?No. The database is only used to support families with the selection of a suitable family office. It is further not for sale and not in any other way commercially utilised.
- None of the aboveWhen you are not able to find an answer to your question(s) in this section (or anywhere else on our website), please do not hesitate to contact us directly per email or phone.