Welcome to Private Wealth's 2012 Directory of Leading Multifamily Office and Wealth Advisory Firms! This issue is packed with state-of-the-art insights and information about the evolving and expanding family office space. In May, I was privileged to host a panel at a Private Wealth conference in New York City on how to create a multifamily office with the leaders of three successful, albeit different, multifamily offices in the tri-state area:  

David Ross, managing director of the Fraenkel Group at Neuberger Berman, where the firm's proprietary investment strategy and management is the core of the operation. They've created a virtual platform based on the team's elaborate network of specialists, allowing them to quickly source high-caliber, non-financial services on behalf of their clients.

Richard J Flynn, the head of the Family Office Group at Rothstein Kass. He oversees a structure built around a dedicated service approach that addresses its clients' broad lifestyle and administrative needs with extraordinary detail and attention-partnering where appropriate with outside managers to deliver the necessary investment components.

Keith Bloomfield, president of the Forbes Family Trust, where the model could almost be described as a hybrid of those used by Ross and Flynn. Forbes has a select array of internal products and services that are augmented by strategic partnerships with other leading providers (including Neuberger Berman and Rothstein Kass) and assembled as a blend of capabilities for each client.

My conversations with David, Rick and Keith are further evidence that there is no right or wrong way to structure a multifamily office. In many ways, MFOs, nay all elite wealth management efforts, are merely a reflection of the specific needs of the underlying families, the expertise of its professionals and how both have been altered to best confront the environmental conditions and challenges they face.

An increasing number of wealthy clients want a personalized and comprehensive wealth management solution. More advisors are contemplating a move toward a family office-style platform and more high-end service providers are newly focused on the business opportunity-a dynamic that has increased the need for first-hand knowledge of MFOs and veteran guidance from industry practitioners. So read on for the latest thinking in the multifamily office arena and watch for more information about our upcoming Elite Wealth Management conference on October 9-10 in Boston. Hope to see you there!