Seward & Kissel’s Family Office group draws upon the experience of the Firm’s Trusts & Estates, Investment Management, Taxation, Business Transactions, Litigation and Employment groups to provide creative, bespoke solutions to our family office clients. We advise single and multi-family offices regarding the creation, structuring and operation of family offices as well as the formation of charitable private foundations, public charities, gifts and split-interest trusts.
As family offices become increasingly sophisticated and build out larger management teams, many are seeking opportunities to engage with, manage or co-invest along third-party capital. As such, family offices face similar complexities and compliance and regulatory requirements as investment funds – we work with our clients to ensure that they are complying with all applicable rules and regulations and to ensure that the structure fits within the “family office” exemption from registration as an investment adviser while creating a bespoke structure best suited to the family’s needs. Together with our Trusts & Estates group, we advise clients on optimal structures including domestic and foreign trusts and other business structures for control, transfer tax and/or income tax optimization, asset protection and more.
Once the family office is established, we work with families regarding the creation of internal policies and procedures, common workflows, and ongoing tax and regulatory matters. In conjunction with our Employment attorneys, we assist our clients with all of their employment, executive compensation and employee benefits needs such as deferred employment agreements, separation agreements, equity ownership buy-outs and equity incentive agreements.
Leveraging the expertise of one of the largest investment management practices in the U.S., we provide unparalleled counsel regarding investments in private funds such as private equity, hedge, venture capital and/or real estate funds.
Attorneys in our business transactions group advise our family office clients in connection with their direct investments, co-investments and joint ventures, provide assistance with regard to investment management transactions, including “seed” and “accelerator” transactions, as well as minority and majority stakes in investment manager entities. When appropriate, we have structured these investments as part of a joint venture with other family offices.
Our attorneys counsel family offices on their multidisciplinary needs:
- Business transactions and investments
- Company and asset sales (dispositions of investments, IPOs)
- Complex charitable giving arrangements
- Determining a structure best suited to the family’s needs (single-family office, multi-family office, private trust, or third-party fund structure)
- Direct investments, co-investments and joint ventures
- Employment and executive compensation
- Investments in hedge, private equity, real estate and other investment funds
- Minority and majority stake investments
- Negotiation of credit facilities secured by artwork, aircraft, private fund interests and alternative assets
- Real estate investments
- Regulatory and securities law compliance (“family office” exemption, Securities Act of 1933, Exchange Act of 1934, Investment Company Act of 1940, Commodity Exchange Act)
- Seed and “accelerator” investments
- Tax & wealth planning
- Trusts & estates planning