Multifamily offices and wealth advisors have seen substantial growth over the past two years despite challenging economic times and a shortage of talented staffers, according to a recent study by the Family Office Exchange, a network of wealthy families and their advisors.

The FOX Multi-family Office and Wealth Advisor Benchmarking study found the median family office grew revenues by 13 percent in 2011 and by 8 percent in 2012. 

“The continued reliance on exceptionally talented, yet hard to find, client-facing personnel make improving productivity a paramount goal for most firms,” David Lincoln, FOX managing director of research, said in a statement.

Given the high cost and relative scarcity of top-tier talent, many firms are relying on less experienced client service personal and administrative support staff to meet the client needs. The study also showed that multifamily offices vary on what they charge for their services. Asset-based fees remain common, but firms are adopting other approaches, including charging retainer fees, the study says.

Firms appear to have a better handle on how to use pricing to offset high service delivery costs, with 86 percent charging higher fees for more complex clients, according to the report.